Changing (work)spaces – behaviours shaping the new office
The redefinition of the office: Post-pandemic
Besides creating a worldwide public health crisis, COVID-19 and the resulting need for remote work through a reliance on digital tools has dramatically changed every aspect of our lives – including how we consider the office.
Businesses quickly adapted to remote working conditions, resulting in new employee habits and behaviours that will continue in our post-pandemic world. In this study, Deloitte Digital spoke to individuals across a wide range of positions and industries to gain insight into how their work behaviours have changed, and how that will impact office space moving forward.
The resulting report describes four behavioural changes caused by the monumental impact on workplaces by COVID-19 that we can use to identify opportunities for office space, and provoke thinking on how society will adapt to the new definition of the office.
Our findings include:
- Strong work relationships will not be dependent on in-person interaction. Although we are limited to virtual connections at the moment, we are creating deeper connections with colleagues by showing up more authentically and sharing the foundations of our lives.
- We will find personal and professional separation without relying on traditional office space. While experiencing significantly more fluidity between home and work, we are finding creative ways to achieve separation and balance that doesn’t require a separate office building.
- Office spaces will need to encourage virtual and traditional ways of working. When physical restrictions loosen, the implementation of both physical and virtual communication styles will require being more intentional in communication and collaboration.
- We will prioritize spaces for development and training over traditional workspace. In-person team environments and events such as welcome lunches for new employees help build trust and allow for natural mentorship and strong growth opportunities – situations a Zoom call just can’t replicate.
Recovery in the post-COVID world requires an understanding of the new expectations for physical, emotional, financial, and digital safety in the workplace. We asked Canadian organizations how they felt about reopening their doors in the face of these unique challenges.
Building a new kind of destination for the post-pandemic world