The New Normal – The Changing Face of the Workplace
There’s no denying that life as we know it has changed massively in light of the Covid-19 crisis. And as life begins to move forward and businesses begin to re-open, our working environments are likely to look very different.
At Mobius, we specialise in building and creating innovative and creative work spaces and leisure spaces for hospitality, commercial and retail, and here our founder Lee Bignell puts together his predictions for how the workplaces we’ve previously known may change in the future.
Visiting bars and restaurants has always been a big part of our lives, and is arguably the one area a lot of people have felt the lack of the most throughout lockdown. It’s also probably going to be the one which changes the most once with the ‘new normal’.
Social distancing, maximising outdoor spaces and contactless ordering will all be big considerations for bars and restaurants, and it’s essential that these steps are implemented well so as not to affect atmosphere and dining experiences, as well as ensuring that both staff and customers are kept safe.
Studies have shown that the spread of Covid-19 is considerably reduced in outdoor spaces, so venues lucky enough to have gardens, terraces and patios will be able to utilise these spaces to maximise their seating. Obviously with the infamous UK weather playing a big part creating all-weather areas will be more important than ever.
Tipis, covered dining spaces for smaller groups and of course ensuring social distance is implemented will all be key in ensuring the safety of everyone visiting and working there.
Research has shown that many diners would feel uncomfortable handling physical menus, and handing over cash, so contactless ordering and payment solutions will also be an option, allowing customers to view menus on their phones, order and process payment whilst reducing the amount of face to face contact.
There has also been a lot of discussion around perspex screening to separate diners, as well as the need for waiters to wear personal protective equipment to minimise contact.
The rise of the open plan office will no doubt prove an issue for office workers and commercial businesses, and whilst working from home and staggered shifts will help reduce any potential spread, offices will need to implement more physical and structural changes. Our previous post covered some of the ways in which office spaces will change going forward, but considerations will include smaller, partitioned workstations, larger communal spaces and meetings as we know them will be likely to change for some time. Technology will play an important role in allowing offices to function efficiently, with video and phone conferencing being used more widely to reduce gatherings and allow home workers to dial in remotely.
We’ve all experienced the way in which retail has changed with supermarkets and local essential shops implementing social distancing measures as well as limiting customer numbers, but as shops begin to open we’re likely to see wider changes.
We’re likely to see both permanent and temporary changes to internal spaces, allowing one way flow systems, as well as extended outdoor coverings to accommodate queuing. Shop fronts are also likely to change as we see an increase in click and collect services, and payment terminals will likely change as well, with more self-service tills and perspex screening at manned tills to protect employees and shoppers alike.
Here at Mobius Works we’re working closely with a lot of our existing clients to help them negotiate how their working spaces will change, and we’re also working with our suppliers to ensure we’re ready to help implement any changes in anticipation of workspaces reopening over time. If you’d like to discuss how we can help your business prepare for the new normal then why not get in touch for a free consultation.