What role does the modern office amenities now play in business? It’s a question you may be asking yourself if you don’t offer a public-facing service. There’s no question that a degree of home working is here to stay but so is the office. What is changing is its role.

We were particularly taken with an excerpt from this article published by Globest.com on office usage: “More than anything, what’s changed is how people use the office. It’s typically no longer a place you go for heads-down work; it’s the place you go to engage with your team and your brand, in ways that simply can’t be replicated on Zoom.”

This challenges the concept of a traditional office – one where 80% of the space is taken by individual desks and once pleasantries are exchanged, people sit down on their own to work with little interaction with others.

The work-life-social balance has definitely shifted. Mundane tasks that need peace and concentration are perfectly suited to a home environment, where offices have become the place for collaboration and reconnection.

For many, going into the office is now a premeditated affair – diaries are synced, meeting rooms are booked and long overdue catch-ups are planned for somewhere social after. The need is for big tables to sit 8, 10 or even 12 – spaces that lend themselves to brainstorming and human, face-to-face interaction.

If the gathering is more formal, there may be a requirement for video conferencing facilities. If the office is now the place to catching up with colleagues, informal break out areas may make better sense than rows of desks. Open plan kitchens and sofa areas can facilitate the brand engagement mentioned in the Globest article, and perhaps a pool or table tennis table will now actually serve a meaningful purpose.

With the advent of collaborative working space, what lies ahead for the humble desk? Well, they aren’t consigned to the scrapheap just yet. Even the most fluid, flexible office will still need some desks but they will be ‘hot’, as in not designated to one particular person. Desks may take a different form too – pods that afford privacy in a large open-place space or a long ‘perching bar’ with bar stools and charging points.

If your office’s role is now one of collaboration, connection and team building, talk to MPL Interiors about replanning the space to suit new needs.