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Flexible working the new normal


Two years ago, many of us thought working from home was just a phase. Today, more New Zealand workplaces have adopted a flexible working environment.


Working from home has shown bosses that physically being in the office doesn’t necessarily equal productivity. For people juggling work, home schooling, and regular interruptions from their kids and dogs on Zooms, working from home has been tough. But it has also proven that, as life goes back to relative normality, it is possible to work smarter without always adding a commute to the day.


How an office environment needs to evolve


The rise of flexible working environments has created a unique problem for employers though. What should the workplace look like and how should it function when the space isn’t at full capacity anymore?


Some organisations are downsizing their office spaces. Others are sending their staff home to work fulltime. Still others expect work life to go back to pre-pandemic normality. What unites these options is the impact these changes (or lack of changes) has on their staff.


The ability for employees to work from home periodically throughout the week makes it easier for them to fit work in around the rest of their lives. But going into the office also adds value to their work day. Physically being in the same place as their bosses and colleagues can make it easier to stay informed, make decisions fast, and maintain good relationships.


Multiple work spaces in the workplace


One way to allow for all styles of working is to create different environments within the one office. Rotating teams on certain days of the week supports that all-important office experience without too many bodies in the same space. Placing furniture far enough away from each other also creates a feeling of space, which some staff may feel more comfortable and safer in after working solo for so long.


With the rise of online meetings even when staff are working in the office, it’s also important that people can step away from the communal work space to carry out a private conversation while not distracting or interrupting other people. A portable acoustic pod like these ones from Silent Pod is a great way to create private and quiet space within the larger work environment. Built-in tech like screens and power outlets makes it even easier to take those online calls too.


Wellness & the workplace


It goes without saying that the last few years have been hard on everyone. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly important for employers to consider their staff’s health, wellness, and mental happiness now that people are returning to the office. Turning grey, bland spaces without a lot of personality into vibrant, fun, engaging spaces to be in is an instant mood pick-me-up and one that will help employees enjoy being back in the office again. Big windows, natural light, connection to the outdoors, and plants also help create good moods and increase productivity.


The future of the office is now


As employees’ expectations around work evolve, the office needs to evolve too. Creating a space where staff feel comfortable, safe, and supported to work in a way that works for them can only be good for business.


Find out more about portable acoustic pods from Silent Pod here.