NEW WORK

The needs and priorities of all of us have shifted significantly during the global pandemic. When our homes suddenly turned into workplaces that were shared with children, partners and roommates, we felt the need to revise our ideas about what the office should look like.

While only around four percent of employees worked from home before the crisis, at the end of January 2021 almost a quarter of those in employment were exclusively or predominantly working from home. Over 70 percent of Germans are now in favor of a legal right to work from home. (statista.com) The motto is: More freedom and trust.

However, it is also clear that working in the office sometimes offers important advantages! From creating a daily routine to providing a focused space to work, meet and brainstorm - away from family distractions. Gradually, people began to appreciate the office space for peace and privacy to concentrate on their work.

The question now arises: How should one deal with these serious social changes? Is classic office work still the most sensible way or should work in home office be promoted and made more attractive?

HYBRID OFFICES

Wir von der SWARMER Designcrew sind der Meinung, dass der Trend hin zu einem „Hybridmodell“ aus Home-Office und Büro-Arbeit geht. Für uns steht jedoch fest, dass sich einige Dinge in unseren Büros verändern sollten…

First of all, the office spaces of the future need more quiet relaxation zones in order to strengthen and protect the well-being of the team members. This not only makes the location as such more attractive, but also demonstrably increases the team's communication and performance.

Contrary to the trend of recent years, from our point of view pure open-plan offices are no longer a sensible option, as people there often feel observed and under pressure. This lowers well-being, favors distractions and increases unhealthy performance dynamics. This often means that employees are less creative, less healthy and less communicative.

Deshalb gilt: „Begrenzte Räume fördern die Kreativität!“ Wir SWARMER sind der Auffassung, dass es eher mehrerer kleiner Räume und dazu einzeln etwas größerer Flächen zum kollaborativen Austausch statt einem einzigen großräumigen Büro bedarf. Büros gleichen dann eher einem Campus, einer Akademie, eines HUBs oder einem Office Club. Dadurch kann Abwechslung geschaffen und gleichzeitig die Möglichkeit zum Rückzug geboten werden – Wir nennen es „Verteiltes Arbeiten“.

Furthermore, in order to promote the mental health of people in their workplace, we primarily focus on three things: More plants, lots of light and flexible desks for a healthy posture. Many of the top performing organizations around the world today offer their team members quiet places and workspaces that encourage ergonomic posture.

In addition to the spatial aspects, however, the SWARMER design crew believes that the following are particularly important: Participation and the preservation of changeability in rooms and designs. We are of the opinion that design must never be completely finished and static in order to guarantee changeability. This should enable people to recognize that they are part of a larger whole and have their day-to-day work in their own hands in order to remain flexible and open to new solutions even in times of global crises.

 

SWARMER design crew, March 2021

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