Office spaces will meet new challenges in the new normal. In a way, these are old challenges exacerbated by contemporary conditions.
Here are 3 challenges that offices would need to handle by rethinking conventional office spaces.
1. Culture, creativity and innovation
Organizations will need to think about how blended work conditions will drive cultural coherence, absorption of and commitment to organizational culture, nurturing of creativity and innovation. The need and means to foster culture, creativity and innovation can get quite diffused when working in remote or blended work format.
2. Training people to work in blended environment
Training is a traditional people’s problem for organizations. It has always been a challenge to communicate organizational culture, vision, and mission among all employees across all levels. But training people to remember these and abide by them in the new normal is going to be quite a challenge.
Digital technology is a great enabler of meetings and collaboration, but it requires a lot of consistent work to keep people interested. Previously, the training rooms were considered dedicated spaces to help employees learn skills and acquire soft skills too. With the vanishing of that physical space, training would need to focus on how to transcend these physical and virtual barriers and stay on the same page.
3. Attracting people who can drive innovation
From interviewing people effectively in-person as well as online formats to helping them understand organizational culture is quite a challenge. When people are not together in a physical office space, communicating the same can get quite difficult.
Messages and documents can reach people digitally but it’s the intonation and the emotion with which decisions are taken in physical meetings that get lost in the virtual calls. Organizations trying to be the best in the new normal will need to pay attention to use of space to maximize meaningful interaction.
Organizations with all the resources at their disposal can invest in larger office spaces but investing in existing spaces to enhance working conditions digitally is going to be the need of the hour.
Remote work is bound to enhance organizations’ creative experiments in organizational cultures by addressing everything that is missing in physical space and thereby drive change effectively.
What change do you visualize in your office space in the new normal?