“A year ago, many employees moved their offices from offices to temporary office areas at home. Although we have gradually adapted to this “new normal”, the leadership can’t help but start thinking: “What will the future office space look like when all employees return to the office?”
Chen Lan, Vice President, North Asia, CommScope Enterprise Network Infrastructure
A year ago, many employees moved their offices from offices to temporary office areas at home. Although we have gradually adapted to this “new normal”, the leadership can’t help but start thinking: “What will the future office space look like when all employees return to the office?”
As the company began to investigate employees’ preferences for office space and their perceptions of priorities in the office environment, the answer to this question became clear. The designers have also begun to make corresponding improvements to the design of the office space. Currently, a trend is the rise of mixed office spaces to adapt to the coexistence of on-site and remote offices. According to a recent survey by Prudential, 42% of employees said they would not work for employers who require them to work onsite throughout the day; 87% of employees want to work remotely at least one day a week. Facebook predicts that by 2030, half of its employees will work remotely. But another trend is that due to better epidemic control or better future conditions, most employees still want to work in an office environment, but they have higher requirements for the future office environment.
Under these two trends, companies need to reduce or optimize the leased office space, and reconsider how to improve the flexibility of office space and plan the remaining space, so that employees can feel the flexibility and convenience brought by the new office space. Improve work efficiency and deepen employees’ feelings for the company. Compared with fixed private offices and cubicles, the company is looking for a hybrid office space with shared desks, more flexible office configurations, and health and safety mechanisms to solve the problem that most employees still have a heart after the epidemic. Some worries.
Under the demands of the new office environment, some priorities are particularly prominent:
Space needs to be flexible: The traditional office environment design that focuses on static, private spaces will limit the effective use of space. What is needed in the future is a space where face-to-face and remote office workers can work together safely.
Desks should be shared: Before the outbreak, flexible office hours and office methods have emerged. After the epidemic, given that this trend may become more mainstream, the number of personal offices, cubicles or desks will also decrease.
Health and safety first: The importance of health and safety in the minds of employees and managers has become more prominent. Therefore, people pay more attention to the consideration of office spacing, frequency of cleaning and killing, personnel capacity and air quality.
Fundamental technological innovation and investment can support the implementation of these new office space priorities. For example, smart building systems can automatically track and manage occupancy, cleaners, air quality, and safety, and Wi-Fi networks must be able to cover any place that employees can reach in the office area.
UCG: Provide flexible infrastructure for flexible office space
In order to provide employees with flexible and dynamic support in the office space, the same flexible and dynamic network architecture is essential. CommScope’s Universal Connectivity Network (UCG) can divide the office space into “units” to support employees. Deploying integration points (CPs) for network connections in buildings in these areas can not only provide highly flexible office space options, but also meet the core network needs of employees.
UCG enables and supports a variety of applications, including wireless local area network (WLAN), mobile technology, health and safety sensors, building automation, and access control, which will help create the future of office space. In a collaborative space with higher wireless requirements, CP can provide power and connections for more WLAN access points. WLAN and wired connection can support key work areas in the shared desktop area, and can also support a system responsible for detecting occupancy, let others know the current available space, or notify the hosting service that the space should be cleared in advance for other people to use.
Obviously, the office space will continue to develop rapidly to support the constantly updated needs of employees. With the universal connectivity network, CommScope is well prepared to support current and future dynamic needs.