The New Way of Working together

The New Way of Working together

Social distancing office

The social distancing economy imposes new requirements on the workplace. How do you implement the Covid-19 measures? How do you realise a social distancing office? And what function does your office fulfil in the short and long term? These are some of the issues that are currently a high priority for many organisations. Including yours, undoubtedly.

Inquiry results: a permanent change for the work environment 

We looked at the challenges and effects of the current and future situation together with our clients. Hundreds of contacts in government, business, healthcare and education responded to our inquiry into the impact of the new business reality and new work methods. A majority (81%) stated that their work environment will never be the same again, even after the restrictions will have been (partly) lifted. The results show that, in the near future, employees will continue to work more from home (84%), that the office will remain an unmistakable hub for colleagues to socialise and for them to be involved with the organisation and that employees will make fewer business trips due to a rise in videoconferencing. This is confirmed by national and international trendwatchers and other sources.

Looking towards the future

Are you interested in what your associates think about the current situation?

Then request the results of this inquiry via the contact form to the right.

Diane van Veen Communications consultant

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Four trends

We distinguish four important trends within the perspective of the new business reality:

1. Permanent shift towards remote working and focussing

1. Permanent shift towards remote working and focussing  

Working from home is going to be a vital part of the social distancing economy. Activities that require full concentration will especially take place more at home. This is why home offices will undergo further professionalisation and will be given more consideration by employers and social partners. After all, the same ergonomic rules as used at the office apply to working at home: having a proper height-adjustable desk with a minimum size of 140 x 80 cm, with cords and cables safely tucked away and an ergonomic office chair.

2. The office to serve as a social meeting place

2. The office to serve as a social meeting place

The office environment will fulfil a more prominent role as a meeting place and as a focal point of the corporate culture. The office will serve a greater social purpose where employees hold meetings, collaborate closely and coach one another, for example. Our research shows that what employees miss the most is the interaction with colleagues and being involved with the organisation. The open-plan office environment is not a thing of the past; its qualities simply need to be rethought according to new furnishing principles.

The social distancing office calls for clever prioritising. It is important to determine which activities can be carried out by whom and when at the office, for example. Guiding principles to follow include the effective use of space as well as the efficient use of your existing layout. In the short term, back-to-back working and social distancing through (transparent) screens in between workstations are solutions to consider. For the medium to long term, an adaptable office redesign may be required, where office space and conference rooms can be given new functions quickly.

3. Nieuwe lay-out voor anderhalve meter kantoor

3. New layout for the social distancing office

Distance, safety and hygiene affect the layout of offices. Crowded open-plan offices need to be adapted in order to prevent a new wave of viral infections. This means new floor plans and routing, the separation of people and the use of new materials. Agile workstations will change back into personal or reserved workstations for hygienic reasons and, ultimately, to prevent the infection from spreading.

It is foremost for all these solutions that they do not interfere with the social function of the office. This is where supporting solutions such as information systems, apps and signage come in handy.

The figure to the right is an example of a fictitious auditorium. A new layout has been created while retaining a large part of the existing furniture, all based on social distancing guidelines. There is no solution that fits all, all the wishes and requirements of the client are taken into account to create the most ideal situation for this particular time.

4. Minder reizen, meer videobellen

4. Less travel, more videoconferences

Fewer business trips will be made to prevent the spread of infection. We have been forced to adapt and we are gaining considerable experience with videoconferencing. Holding remote meetings, training sessions and presentations from within the social distancing office do require alternative furnishing solutions. Enclosed and sound-deadening workspaces such as MOXX will offer privacy and prevent colleagues from disturbing one another at the office.

Our solutions

The New Way of Working Together

New forms of collaboration

In order to come up with a functional plan within the context of the abovementioned trends, we first  need to hold a dialogue, enter into partnerships and share knowledge and insights. Speaking of sharing, we are particularly grateful to all our business relations who took part in the survey. Your input has given us insight into your challenges which, in turn, allows us to come up with matching solutions. As far as Gispen is concerned, The New Way of Working TOGETHER is a fact.

We now offer an even wider range of solutions for various work methods within all types of environments and circumstances. It is only TOGETHER that we can continue to deal with the impact of the Corona measures at work constructively. We would therefore like to stay in touch with you in order to keep one step ahead of any new challenge we are faced with, and to keep doing so together!

Keeping solutions up to date

This process goes beyond furniture and interior design. In the long term, we believe in an integral approach to The New Way of Working TOGETHER. Working together with experts on nudging, signage, cleaning (protocols), ventilation, regulation of air humidity, the application of UV-C light and materials with anti-viral effect. Solutions that are constantly evolving and changing because of the new reality of office work.

More information

We would be happy to assist you in finding the best solutions for your organisation. Feel free to contact us.

We are available at 0031 345 474 213 or via the contact form on the right hand side, in which case we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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