As workplaces around the country are slowly reopening again after two national lockdowns, much thought is being put into how office design can be transformed to abide by the 'new normal'. Not only will businesses have government safe working guidance to follow, but they also face the difficult task of persuading people back to work after them spending most of 2020 working from home.

One of the best ways to address these issues is by rethinking the design entirely. Instead of stationery workspaces,flexible environments in which people can take ownership of how they work, are becoming ever popular. Modular design offers such flexibility; it allows businesses the opportunity to remodel the layout of their workplaces, adapting it to any changes as and when they happen.

So, let's take a look at modular design in more detail…

What exactly is a 'Modular Office Design'?

As outlined in our blog post at the start of last year, modular design is the concept of 'bringing together a variety of interior components to create a cohesive, adaptable workplace'. This includes things like seating, tables, acoustic fittings or partition walls; any thing that can be used to facilitate a degree of flexibility, basically. To explain the concept in relatable detail, designers use the example of Lego bricks; these items can be connected to create something yet be taken apart to create something new.

Thanks to the customisability and flexibility that modular design brings, it is the ideal method to use to refit an office with future updates in mind. It can utilise smaller spaces, costing very little in the process.

A great example of how a business takes advantage of modular design is whenever a business needs expand; taking on new employees, installing new equipment or creating new types of workspaces, etc. Instead of going through the time-consuming (and expensive) process of figuring out whether a completely new office design is needed, they can simply change a modular space to how they need it to be.

Having such an ability will not just vastly cut down on time and cost, but it can also give ownership of the spaces to the individuals who work in them. This is a key component in making someone feel valued at their place of work.

Why modular design is important post-COVID

In truth, flexible office design was already a growing trend; the availability of wireless, high-speed internet (and a plethora of devices to access it) has been rendering the stationary workspace redundant already. The pandemic has just amplified the benefits of a workplace that can be quickly changed and adapted for different circumstances.

Nobody yet knows when (or if) we'll ever be able to go back to the 'old normal' we experienced before March 2020. It could be the case that social distancing and consistent hand sanitation may remain for some time (requiring businesses to have facilities to cater for them).

Then there is the prospect of homeworking that many of us have had to do for most of 2020; there's no denying that.

Thanks to its ability to redress the personal work-life balance, working from home may remain an attractive proposition for many beyond COVID.

At the very least, businesses must strive to have all the facilities and technology infrastructure in place to serve such needs going forwards.

Regardless of whether we will have a new normal to contend with or not, the cosy way modular design fits with technology and the needs of staff like a hand-in-glove (or more aptly, two Lego bricks!),can't be dismissed as a short-term fix. Aside from giving employees increased ownership of their working day, there are several other in-office functional benefits that this type of design has. These include:

  • The creation of a collaborative environment. Modular design presents employees with increased freedom to move around the office. This means that they will be able to better interact with their teammates, facilitating co-working, sparking discussions and forming ideas. Not only is this a great way to improve the levels of productivity and quality of work, but it will also create a bond between colleagues, leading to a workplace that is happy and content

  • The introduction of specialist facilities. With the office becoming more flexible, this allows businesses the opportunity to explore different facilities (other than the traditional desk set-ups), that would be of benefit going forwards. One of these is the social aspect of the company; whether they need to host clients or want to create an in-work community, extra facilities like executive meeting rooms, cafes, bars, entertainment suites and gyms are becoming commonplace in workplaces around the world. Modular design presents an opportunity to make space for these facilities to be created. Whatever is needed at a particular time, the business can simply alter its modular design without much fuss.

  • Futureproofing. The massive advantage that modular office design brings is that it safeguards the workplace against any future changes it needs to go through.Whilst social distancing and remote working facilities are needed now,it could be the case in the future that these things need to be expanded on (or reduced). The business may have ideas about new spaces and would like to introduce them when the time is right, not immediately. Ultimately, future-proofing with modular design will ensure that a business does not go through the costly expense of doing it later.

So that was modular design in offices. If you're thinking about a new layout for your own workplace; whether to get it ready for the return to work and/or prepared for whatever the future may bring, why not consider getting in touch with the office fit out experts here at Oaktree Interiors?

Innovative office fit out solutions by Oaktree Interiors

Here Oaktree Interiors, we are a vastly experienced workplace design and build company,having carried out hundreds of fit out, refurbishment and relocation projects across London and the South East of England throughout the last three decades.

As a result of our innovative approach to office design, we have established a leading service that has helped many different types and sizes of businesses to better utilise their workplaces.

In a post-COVID19 world, being able to have an inventive, custom office design will no doubt be vital – so please feel free to get intouch with us to learn how we can help you too.

Give our team a call today on 0345 21 86955 or send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll get in touch as soon as possible.

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