As we start to return to the office, companies are looking at how the space needs to work after the Covid pandemic. How can your existing office be transformed? What new features should an office space have? How can it change for different renters? The future of the office space will be derived from the options that landlords and buildings can provide to their renters. The new workspace must be re-designed to consider elements of safety and privacy, while providing flexibility with the possibility of transformation, allowing for multiple options for one space.
As seen recently in Crain’s New York, “The next return-to-office challenge” Avoiding ‘Hybrid hell’. You can download the full article here.
‘The new office environment must be designed utilizing tools of health and wellness as well as creative design to provide flexible options for 24 hour that allow users and tenants to feel safe and comfortable at any given time’Victoria Benatar, CoFounder EXD Architecture
In areas like midtown Manhattan and Soho NYC, there are thousands of square feet of office spaces. These have been vacant for months. To gain the tenant’s confidence, building managers, owners and designers will have to provide a new approach.
The new office space design must be inviting and introduce ‘easy’ fully furnished and equipped offices. These new amenities could include:
- Plug and Play Furniture
- Telecommunication Options
- Open Floor Plans for Changeability
- Private Niches for Different Types of Work or Communication
- Vegetation for Air Quality and Aesthetic
- Fully Functional Kitchenettes
‘At EXD Architecture, we believe in providing a new office experience. We are testing new transformable plug and play furniture options to allow multiple uses for the space over a 24 hour period. We are also using the latest technologies to measure pollutants in the air to make sure the office environment is safe.. ‘Michelle Cianfaglione, CoFounder EXD Architecture
One of the biggest amenities a building owner can offer their renters right now is nature outside the building, in formally unused spaces.
EXD Architecture has been working hand in hand with Christian Duvernois Landscape/Studio to make sure we can provide exterior office spaces with versatile experiences for users to have lunch, ‘meet and greet’ clients, or simply to take breaks in the fresh air.
‘Rooftop, terrace, and ground-level exterior zones are all prime for transformation into lushly-planted, fully-furnished amenity spaces where employees can step outside for some fresh air, enjoy their lunch al fresco, or even host team events or meetings amidst a reinvigorating garden setting.’Jon Fouskaris, Christian Duvernois Landscape/Studio
More and more office space users want to be provided with facilities and amenities rather than owning their own office with the responsibilities that this entitles. It is a little bit like the hotel culture. ‘A home outside your home, an office outside the home”
It is also common to introduce greenery inside the office space, this is to create a strong relationship inside outside, but also to help clean the air.
‘A thoughtfully-composed indoor planting scheme of tropical vegetation serves as the perfect complement to the occupiable exterior landscape and goes a long way towards enhancing interior ambience and air quality.’Christian Duvernois, Christian Duvernois Landscape/Studio
With all these options, office building owners and managers can start reinventing new ways to attract businesses to their spaces. By creating systems on the interior or exteriors, that allow for change, renters will get options and amenities that create an innovative, but comfortable/ safe environment that responds to our new way of working.
The new office space must not be static, but adaptable, transformable, and must be ready to use and easy to change.