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Top 7 trends that will transform the workplace in a post COVID-19 world

Real estate consultant CBRE, lists the 7 trends in 2020 that will transform the office and workplace in a post-COVID-19 world.

1. A tech-enabled future

As offices rely on technology more than ever, tenants and landlords will begin to track their office usage with sensors. Post-COVID, these same sensors will be used to monitor, track and determine which areas are most in need of deep cleaning, where density is too high, and which workstations are underused and could perhaps be repurposed.

2. Flexible work environment

A flexible work environment is a key driver in companies retaining valuable talent. Worldwide 87% of employees are disengaged and the physical workplace affects employee job satisfaction with the top likes being: great co-workers; work environment and good benefits.

3. Building characteristics

From aesthetics and amenities that make up individual office spaces to the importance of redefining what individual workspaces within the office looks like, these are among the top trends that will shape the workplace and will be a central focus for developers, owners and occupiers during this period.

Offices will also look at adapting from open plan spaces to ones that exude the strictest hygienic measures while also enabling worker's ability to collaborate with colleagues safely. And while headquarters will remain central, workers may visit the office less frequently and only to collaborate with colleagues.

4. Branded experience

Local occupiers are starting to design their offices to be more in line with their organization's brand and values, combining architectural elements as well as digital branding to reflect the building’s tenants and the wider community.

5. Work/life integration

Fluidity between workspace and living space; commercial and residential will become a common theme in 2020. As more people conceive of their office space as an extension of their home and their homes as extensions of the office space, we see workplaces evolving to include additional elements to facilitate a better work-life balance and help to increase employee productivity.

New residential developments are creating entire common spaces devoted to co-working while others are designating alcoves within apartments to be used as an office space.

6. Remote working

Firms to already be devising answers to the question of why employees go to an office and how often and for how long they should. With more enhanced technological capabilities such as clear and concise platforms for messaging as well as a reformation in company culture that values trust and output versus physical presence, companies can quickly adapt to this new environment.

7. Maximisation of space

While increased space is important, the need for space to collaborate and innovate is just as important. Government regulation in many countries is mandating 2 meters' distance during meetings, which also means that hot desks and open office plans with individuals sitting close to one another may be a thing of the past.

As physical workplaces need to remain changeable, the increased flexibility of employees themselves is important. With the ability for employees to either work from a workspace at home or an alternative location, an office can be temporarily transformed if need be.

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