Getting the best out of your work environment & employees

Steve Lyons, CEO of MSO Workspace, speaks about the post-Coronavirus workplace landscape, and how remote working has taught us that employers should adopt workspaces that offer the best of both worlds bridging commercial productivity and employee wellness.

MSO Workspace is the UK’s leading independent Covid-secure office solutions provider, with award-winning workspaces focused on value, flexibility and safe, de-risked services. Steve is a highly experienced business professional across real estate and construction, having launched MSO Workspace in 2007 and has grown the business to over ten successful, prestigious sites with 2600 work stations across the UK including Solihull Town Centre, Solihull Cranmore, Manchester Airport, Manchester Northern Quarter, Heathrow, Dudley, Northampton, Trowbridge, Brindley Place Birmingham and newest flagship building near Birmingham Airport.

Steve Lyons says “We have known from early in the COVID pandemic that office space in the future will change. When companies return to work (many of  our clients have, or plan to within the next month), businesses will review their working space with a new, more flexible solution that bridges the gap between flexible working and a place of work that promotes wellbeing, safety and trusted connectivity”.

Changing the world of workspace

There’s little doubt that Covid-19 has provoked change in the way we work, as well as how we will use “the office” in the long term. The prolonged period of employees remote working has demonstrated that while we ‘can’ work from home productively, it has also shown the importance on what office solutions need, to give a more collaborative outlook.

Working from home has also revealed that the physical environment in which we work has a major impact on our productivity and wellbeing. A vibrant colour system, great air quality, comfortable and quality furniture along with the ambiance all have significant effects on our mental and physical health in the long-term. Spaces that consider simplistic but crucial elements such as natural light, outdoor areas, wellbeing benefits and considerate design will be more commonplace in the future.

Lessons to keep connected

Whether it’s been connectivity issues, isolation from our colleagues and the social interaction, the normality of ‘going to work’ structure, or the inability to separate our home and work life while juggling children at home, remote working has been a necessity, and by no means an ideal situation for many of us during COVID-19 – it has however, educated us, that a more flexible work environment that promotes wellbeing mixed with optimum connectivity is the way to go.

One clear outcome of the workforce’s sudden shift to remote working is a renewed appreciation for high-quality technology. From the time-sensitive email that won’t send to an important video call that won’t connect, those that have been working from home this past several weeks, have no doubt been let down by poor technology at some point. These dips in technology are not only a frustration but are found to have been one of the major causes of stress.

The office we return to after COVID-19 will have to incorporate quality technology that fosters reliable communications channels, as well as enabling employees increasingly used to working remotely to be more flexible. Basic infrastructure such as modern AV amenities and a high-speed internet network, can help provide a more streamlined way of working.

Retaining human interaction and safe working

Having spent a great deal of time away from colleagues during COVID-19, many of us are realising that simple human connections and a positive sense of community are underappreciated elements of an office that affect our productivity, motivation, and overall wellbeing. As a result, post COVID, office solutions are going to have to think of new ways to feature safe, social-distanced areas that promote collaboration and socialisation.

Unsurprisingly, uncertainty and anxiety have been major features of this global pandemic and not surprisingly as a result, mental and emotional health have emerged as workplace challenges.

While many of the factors already mentioned, from increased connectivity to enhanced physical office elements, will have a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of staff, it will also be crucial for businesses to recognise the value of promoting an “emotionally intelligent” office. As a result, offices that incorporate quiet areas, social spaces, and facilities, such as gyms will become standard, as employers look for simple steps to look after the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Adapt to your new way of working

The office as we know it, will no doubt change because of COVID-19. We realise now more than ever, the importance of high-quality technological infrastructure, the value of creative and fun workspaces and those organisations that truly invest in the mental wellbeing and a sense of community. Those that provide the best environments to reflect this changing need will no doubt reap the rewards of a happier and vigorous workforce for the long term.

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