Drawing the employees back to the office, engaging them by fostering a spirit of common purpose and creating an environment for the employees to be committed to has become extremely important; as organisations have realised that, bringing the employees back to office is easier than, getting back zeal to work from office.

Current state of affairs

Employees who have returned to work have provided JLL’s research with an analysis that 36 percent of workers sense a lack of spirit while working, and others are drained by managing work and family life; and the remaining ones say that they don’t find their work environment good anymore.

Isn’t this scoop of information worth pondering over?

Alas, your office may not have required these extra efforts for inspiring your team and making them feel safe, had this entire episode of shifting from work from office to WFH and now hybrid not occurred.

But where has this energy been directed during WFH era? 

Even though better work-life balance was achieved through remote working / WFH, fatigue due to e-meetings and extended work time has also become tedious. A McKinsey survey of attitudes to post-pandemic work found that many employees now fear their work-life balance will suffer.

The organisations are pressing all corners to work on the psychological health and well-being of employees. Employees who had greater expectations before the pandemic now have elevated expectations for a more welcoming work environment.

The physical office brings people together when compared to working in an increasingly digital environment. What makes this entire process more complex is retrieving the employees back in stages by increasing their visits to office each week. This requires adaptation of the facility to each day’s new requirements.

What can help organisations?

  1. Safety and hygiene

Employees are more sensitive to activities of the organisation to safeguard their health and wellness, and designers have started working on the smart use of material to back the purpose.

The definition of safety has broadened in recent times. Hygiene is an inseparable conjuncture of safety. Cleanliness emphasises more on frequent sanitisation drives and usage of antimicrobial material. Taking a step further, organisations are using non-VOC emitting material and finishes. SBI group has recently helped us pioneer DesQ workstations in India. These workstations work on air dynamics and have air diffusers for each individual, reducing the risk of spread of viral diseases.

2. Layout

Internal layout modifications involve shifting dimensions with movable partitions so that employees have apt space to associate with colleagues online or offline as required each day. Meeting rooms can open up and become informal areas whereas smaller discussion zones of the past can be transformed into e-meet facility areas.

Modular partitions of acoustic materials help the organisations to make changes in the layout in tandem with the plan of inviting staff back to office step by step.

Telephone booths can also help in allowing staff to take personal calls and manage work-family life balance at ease.

3. New Sections that motivate creativity

  • Work Cafes

The huge work-bays with deserted corners bring the dearth of liveliness to the office working.

To bring employees back to the office, over 50% of firms are planning to upgrade unused spaces. You can commence by revamping the cafeteria. These areas are hardly utilized for individual work, short meetings, or eating out. Hence, they can be utilized for socializing, which will excite employees by colluding productively.

High tables with contrasting bright high stools placed in a corner of the work-bay can change the entire feel of a space.

  • Breakout zones

Spaces that allow employees to take a break are required in every office to rejuvenate by escaping from a frenetic schedule. These are more informal spaces where there are homely couches, with accessible power and digital collaboration devices

Designers have accepted the challenge of making such furniture pieces that are comfortable for informal seating and yet are ergonomically sound. Furthermore, this presents an excellent arrangement for the staff to connect personally with others.

4. Colours

Gone are the days when greystone and dull matt blues were treated as shades to be used in office. Studies have shown that vibrant colours like yellow help the employees to contribute with more innovative and creative ideas.

Identify ways to entice more employees with captivating offices. This can be executed by modifying atmospheres with the elements such as paint, light, art, and places where people can come up with vivid ideas.

People may want to devour time in areas where experience is highly enthralling to establish a vibrant community, nurture sustainability, and intensify long-term performance.

5. Roster Planning

Many companies have found a hybrid work method the most convenient one. However, this will diminish the liveliness of the office as mentioned in section 3.a.

The informal groups which are from same or different teams can be suggested to work from office together, this will help to increase their interest. Also, we could ask employees for their preferred days to work from office.

Activating one portion of the facility each week / day can help bringing more life to the space. Hot allocation lockers like DAiLOC that are operated with biometric or attendance RFID card can come handy for this purpose. Workstations with removable partition motivates people to work colluded and aid in making them feel they’re not alone.


Revamping offices will inculcate a sense of togetherness and belonging, which was difficult while working remotely. Implementing flexible settings which turn the space into a vibrant hub where people feel more energetic with the help of social interactions, learning and brainstorming. Ongoing testing and iteration will help in getting feedback from employees.

Modifications don’t require to be big or expensive. It should involve both physical shifts and updates to practices and policies both.

There are a plethora of design solutions for future-ready workspaces and you will find ones that are right for you.