The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021 upended our lives and daily routines, as we have experienced it. For one, it prevented many of us from going into the office. New norms were established, such as virtual meetings taking the place of in-person sessions and working remotely became the default for the majority of the workforce.
While there have already been initial industry talks about workplace evolution, the pandemic accelerated the entire process. A forced evolution of the workplace was underway, with many employers rethinking the utilization of their workplace. Add to that, the changing demands and demographics of the Singapore workforce, the future of work has definitely arrived early.
So, what is the desired workplace in a post-pandemic world?
Desmond Sim, CEO of EDMUND TIE, believes that it is about an interplay of art and science. It is about achieving the desired balance of physical attributes and the softer aspects, where all workplace components can facilitate both individual focused work, and enable collaboration and engagement among colleagues. Such a workplace should also have the flexibility to continue to evolve accordingly to become a desirable work destination that can coexist with a hybrid work culture.
In a few years’ time, we will see a multi-generational workforce, which is something that employers should embrace. As such, when planning for office spaces, one should also consider components that can cater to the diverse working styles of each generation.
Employers and landlords should aim to create experiences and ensure that the workplace is a destination worth visiting. Therefore, companies could consider taking a placemaking approach to designing the office: meaningfully and deliberately creating experiences and vibrancy for employees. Such workplaces can actively foster a sense of belonging in employees, likely increasing their productivity, and aiding in talent attraction and retention.