Office concepts for the new normal: Employee surveys reveal needs

The work environment is undergoing radical change – and will not return to the old normal when the coronavirus pandemic ends. More than 90% of Drees & Sommer employees expect COVID-19 to fundamentally influence our work environment in the medium term, or even in the long term. 86% of employees think the proportion of mobile work will increase, and 83% are able to imagine mobile working or working from home one to three days a week.. These figures are particularly interesting in view of the fact that before the first lockdown in spring 2020 some 41% had never experienced mobile working or working from home.  This was revealed by a survey of Drees & Sommer employees in July 2020 – and the findings are more relevant than ever during the second lockdown. 

The trend towards mobile working is having a huge impact on our society – as well as on the way we work and on workplace design. It also influences what employees want from their office.

Right at the top of the wish list are

  • More space for communication and interaction
  • Meeting areas
  • Rooms equipped with high-quality audio- and videoconferencing equipment

These wishes are not surprising – they are the logical consequence of the increase in mobile working.

But we also need to think of those who cannot or do not wish to focus on work at home – and would rather go to the office. Office space also needs to be provided for these colleagues.

We also have to design the home office appropriately, because the kitchen table is not a suitable workplace in the long run.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown how suddenly and quickly far-reaching change can occur. What seemed impossible yesterday is now the ‘new normal’.

What does the NEW NORMAL mean? Is it the same for everyone? 

The new normal looks different for each person and ideally should be customized for each individual. Many people like working in the office. They love meeting colleagues and networking – and need the busy atmosphere to work productively and feel part of a community. Become more self-confident and feel they make a difference. The home office, on the other hand, meets the need to work independently and ‘be your own boss’, and means they enjoy the required level of trust from your manager. The optimum mix of working in the company office, home office and third places can be different for each company – and in some cases even for each department.

It is worth asking

Many current influences are changing our work environment and making new demands of workplaces. They relate to the size and design of the spaces required, and also include hybrid solutions that combine digital working and working in the office. Knowing what motivates employees can help harness untapped potential. A professional survey provides you with the information you need to design work environments adapted to your new normal.

An employee survey: FAR   AND   AWAY… the best way to find out what is important to the people in your company.

Further information on New Work at Drees & Sommer

A strongteam at Drees & Sommer specializes in the holistic design, planning and realization of future-oriented work environments and formats. Our specialists for New Work – User-Centric Consulting & Design – always focus on the user.

Thanks to the incorporation of RBSGROUP, which was founded in 1973, into Drees & Sommer SE, our clients get complete solutions. We call them solutions ‘from a single source’, even though a range of creatives are always involved. We will be happy to help you design innovative work environments for the new normal.