The second national lockdown will have left many business owners considering the future of their office provision, possibly looking at a move, or ways to make optimum use of the space they have in the face of a very different workplace environment.
While business premises and employees at desks is likely to remain a fundamental need for many firms – the office landscape is changing, possibly for the long term.
In order to make full use of their space, businesses are turning to the likes of Paradigm Office Furniture for advice and innovative solutions to reconfigure space, or perhaps make the most of new, downsized premises.
Founded two years ago by Jon Bautista, Paradigm has built a reputation for project management that takes the stress and hassle of planning a new office away from the client. The Paradigm team work with firms moving into new premises, as well as refitting and reworking existing spaces to work better for an organisation as it evolves.
Since lockdown was first imposed in March, business owners have had to consider whether to leave a section of their workforce at home, or bring them back to offices that have been reworked to ensure distancing and keep staff safe.
Use of acrylic screening in certain areas has worked well and is a cost-effective way of making the office COVID safe. Paradigm has also carried out a number of projects that have changed workspaces to be more collaborative and for employees to work away from their desks – high sided booth seating in open plan areas, for instance, allow staff to meet or act as breakout areas.
The team works with all sizes of companies, from PLCs with hundreds of staff in open plan offices through to medium and smaller firms who have fewer staff but feel it is important to have space for staff to collaborate and share ideas and discuss, plan and collaborate openly.
“The benchmarks that were once used to guide office design have been turned on their heads since the start of the pandemic,” said Jon. “Things like large meeting rooms and huge boardroom tables may be a thing of the past. Companies are exploring different solutions to address this shift in the way we work. Meetings these days are more likely to be two to four people rather than 18 to 20 people.
“Therefore, a reclaim is being made on all this underused space – turning it into smaller more collaborative work zones where staff of all seniority levels can collaborate and get together still feeling safe and supported in having space to meet. Making staff feel more included and comfortable will provoke more idea sharing from all areas of a business.
“Gone are the days where staff sit in rows of desks looking over their monitors at directors in glass box meeting rooms thrashing out decisions among themselves and planning the future of the company on their own. Inclusivity is more important now than ever and will be paramount in staff retention and motivation in a workforce as we move towards returning to work.”
Paradigm helps clients plan and implement the best layouts and uses for their environments by building in the correct types of furniture for varying uses and styles. With access to 35 manufacturers across the UK, the team can work with all budgets and styles while tracking industry trends.
The designers have 30 years of design experience and provide the expertise clients need to ensure the best visuals are produced and design briefs met. Access to showrooms across the region mean Paradigm can take clients to see and try furniture before any decisions are made.
In addition, for those who are managing a workforce that is working from home, Paradigm can supply comfortable chairs and desks, moving workers away from their dining tables and chairs, which many realised after a week or two were not sustainable long-term.
For more information about Paradigm Office Furniture, call 0800 689 5117 or visit www.paradigmofficefurniture.co.uk