Rethinking the Office Space

Working remotely was once an early pandemic necessity, but now, it has been embraced as a preferred option for many professionals. In fact, remote (and hybrid) work may even be essential to happiness for some, as well as a means for attracting and retaining top talent. 

With that said, employee engagement has steadily dropped since 2020, especially with workers under the age of 35, according to NPR. In a prior blog titled, “The Rise of Quiet Quitting,” we shared that young employees report “feeling less heard and less cared about at work,” per Gallup. We also noted that remote work may be contributing to this trend.

Searching for a solution, some companies are experiencing a backlash for demanding a return to the in-person workplace. When The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently asked readers why they were against this pre-pandemic policy, “many people said there was much about the old office that shouldn’t be salvaged.”

Is it possible to entice individuals to willingly give up the flexibility and freedom of full-time remote work? Some companies think so, and they are rethinking the traditional office space to better reflect the changing needs and wants of their employees. Read on to learn more.

New Designs on Office Life

According to “New designs on office life: Companies hope the workplace can be a magnet, not a mandate,” published on September 24, 2023 by The Boston Globe, the traditional office space filled with cramped cubicles is “out.” What’s in? Collaborative “neighborhoods,” “moveable furniture,” and amenities like “coffee bars, yoga rooms, even golf simulators.”

The Boston Globe notes that popular modifications include “enhanced communal spaces such as cafés to encourage more socializing, grouping unassigned workstations by ‘neighborhood’ (or work team) to offer flexibility while increasing space efficiency,” and “a modular approach that makes it easier to change layouts to meet future needs.” Other examples include outdoor areas, comfortable seating, and large windows or glass interiors to let in natural light. The full article can be found here.

Investing in thoughtful updates may help to lure workers back to the office all five days or better support hybrid schedules, to boost productivity, worker satisfaction, and engagement. In a competitive market, a well-designed office space may also help to draw in and retain the most promising new hires. 

TDB Group Strategic Advisory is a management consulting firm specializing in organizational and leadership development for the corporate, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. And while we can’t craft a new office space, in many ways, we operate much like an architectural firm. Utilizing the TDB Group Truss Framework™ and decades of experience, we design and build the infrastructures (people, financial models, protocols, and systems) that will help our partners execute short and long-term growth. To learn more, visit our website, or contact us to get started. 

Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development CouncilMinority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman OwnedSmall Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm; Looking Forward Lab, a learning and development company focused on Gen Z, which partners with corporations and higher education systems to offer a full-service learning engagement model that delivers workforce development solutions; and Cooper + Lowe, an incubator for women interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship and thought leadership using the tools of a company that has successfully scaled.

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