Tag Archives: Your Future Office Strategy

Hubs: The Solution to Your Future Office Strategy

In the aftermath of the pandemic, many companies are rethinking the size, function and location of their office space. When redesigning your office space, it’s not just about creating a practical and attractive space that reflects your brand – it’s also about strategically positioning your office for the current and future work environment.

For the commercial office construction specialists at BE Builds, this means focusing your future office strategy on something we call “Hubs.” This strategic trend is suited to companies of all sizes who have realized that maybe everyone doesn’t have to be in the office at all times, and that with some creative scheduling, office spaces can be re-tasked and reinvented, giving your business the ability to fit into smaller spaces with smaller co-resident teams.

Here’s some insight into how BE Builds is working with companies all over the New York area to help them understand how hubs will fit into their future office strategy.

The Hub Office Design Evolution

The hub-and-spoke office design is nothing new – in fact, organizations have been using it for decades, creating central headquarters for corporate tasks that are surrounded by multiple satellite offices that are region or task-specific. However, this design concept has evolved further to meet the needs of a post-COVID work environment, balancing the benefits of remote working with the undeniable need for office space. Here’s how things have changed:

  • Size – Enterprises have realized that having a massive central hub isn’t always necessary, and that downsizing to a tailored and functional design has considerable organizational benefits, including significant cost savings in terms of rent, energy use and other operational costs.
  • Function – The function of the hub has changed too, becoming a stronger support system and environment for flexible workers. This functionality should obviously be customized to specific business and industry requirements. This Means creating more collaborative spaces for corporate employees to utilize when they need to come into the office, allocating more space for hotdesking or touchdown stations, so that employees can shift in and out of the hub as needed, or creating multi-use and team spaces where people can focus on tasks away from the distractions of home.
  • Location – As hub size and functionality have evolved, so have opportunities to move to new hub locations. Enterprises have started realizing key opportunities for restructuring by moving hubs to new locations, from reduced operational and rental costs to situating hubs closer to key logistic, production or talent-rich areas.

Industry innovators are already jumping on board to take advantage of the newly evolved hub-and-spoke office design strategy, including Facebook1, which is offering employees the option to work wherever they want while balancing this freedom with multiple open satellite offices where employees can work if they choose, hold meetings, get facetime or simply network.

Amazon is also taking the plunge2, investing $1.4 billion into creating remote working hubs to allow employees to collaborate as well as work remotely as needed. This system is a dramatic shift from their previous drive to get employees to move closer to headquarters, and it’s anticipated that up to 50% of their staff could fall into these more remote hub-and-spoke systems over the next few years.

Creating More Productive Spaces Where Employees Want to Work

With remote working on the rise, enterprises are understandably concerned about the impact of virtual workplaces on employee productivity and engagement, as well as the ability to create a cohesive and energetic workplace culture. Interestingly, so are employees!

In fact, as many as 3 in 4 U.S. office workers3 report that they want to return to the office for 2-3 days per week, while around 25% of those surveyed want to return full-time. According to a report by Gensler4, just 12% of office workers were happy to make their remote working situation permanent. Clearly, the dream of working from home did not deliver what people expected.

The reasons for employees wanting to return to the office also play a vital role in the delivery of an effective and strategic office space, with employees citing offices as essential for scheduled meetings with colleagues, socializing and bonding with team members, having that all-important one-on-one face time and to become a part of the workplace culture.

The evolved hub-and-spoke design that commercial office construction services can create and deliver, serves these exact purposes. Creating spaces that balance the benefits of flexible working and remote working technology with the very real need for productive, engaged and effective workspaces.

Let’s Set Up Your Future Office Strategy for Success

BE Builds is an established leader in innovative commercial office construction services, working to position your business effectively in a changing environment. We know your business is unique, so we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach – instead, we create and deliver custom office build-outs or designs if you need them, that work for your business, industry and budget. To find out more about our interior office construction and design services, contact us today.

https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/5/21/21266570/facebook-remote-work-from-home-mark-zuckerberg-twitter-covid-19-coronavirus

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/08/19/amazon-plans-to-grow-office-space-in-six-cities.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/01/3-in-4-workers-want-to-return-to-an-office-in-the-future.html

https://www.gensler.com/us-wfh-survey-2020-wfh-reinforces-the-benefits-of-the-office

Originally posted at: https://bebuilds.com/hubs-the-solution-to-your-future-office-strategy/

“Right Sizing” Your Office in a Post-COVID World

“As a manager of a technology team, I never supported the notion of working remotely.”

That, according to Richard Casamento, former global program manager for the Intel Corporation. “I assumed people were about half as productive when they weren’t here.”

Mr. Casamento isn’t alone in his sentiments. Prior to COVID, it was a challenge to get senior managers to embrace the idea that employees could be as, or more productive from home.

But as COVID has taught us, workplaces are constantly evolving spaces. Their design and build is influenced by the changing needs of businesses, productivity trends and yes, occasionally far reaching pandemic type events from the outside world. In 2021, Successful office designs will reflect the new awareness in the industry, that virtual work is possible and can be managed effectively. Every company will agonize over the balance between remote employee productivity, the desire to save money on office space, and the intangible lifestyle, creativity and productivity improvements that are possible when people are interacting face to face in a positive environment.

In the rethink of company environments post 2020, the focus must become the creation of productivity powerhouses rather than just a space to rest your computer. So, how will office design change in a post-COVID world? What will these spaces look like and how will they be used? Here are some insights into the different trends shaping the design and implementation of the post-COVID office from the experts at BE Builds.

Why We Still Need Offices

For many employees, working remotely from home comes with it’s own, significant challenges. There’s no space for a proper workstation or desk, there’s less time and energy to focus on work because the hustle and bustle of family life is going on around you (especially if you have kids!), and chores can become a troublesome distraction from work tasks. Ironically, working from home can make it even more difficult to create that all-important work-life balance that we’re all after, as there is no escape from your environment, no change of scenery, and more limited interaction with coworkers. Studies have shown that prolonged working from home is directly linked to depression in many people1

Even the most advanced teaming technology we have is simply not powerful enough to substitute for physical, face-to-face interaction. That’s where the magic happens – it’s the catalyst for innovation, creativity and engaged problem-solving. It’s how real relationships between employees are built and how people go from being coworkers to genuine friends. And of course it remains the place where company resources and equipment are most easily available. For most industries, the company workplace needs to remain the primary focus of efforts to enhance employee productivity.

But we should not unlearn what COVID-19 has taught us. Our approach to office design and construction has to change, balancing the need for the energy and innovation of a shared space with the need for effective hygiene protocols and a more flexible working environment.

What to Consider When Choosing or Designing a Post-COVID Office Space

  • Design flexibility – Due to the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, office design needs to be safe, but flexible too. Businesses want a space they can use for collaborative meetings and other essentials that can’t be achieved successfully while working remotely without safety concerns. The space needs to be able to reflect this, offering the ability to easily switch around furniture and structures to create workspaces that are socially distant and hygienic, or to create collaborative spaces that are fun and conducive to worker discussion.
  • Custom solutions for your sector – The team at BE sees many different types of industries trying to reinvent their spaces for the new normal but priorities are highly dependent on what kind of business you’re in. Large healthcare clients are focused on changes to the layout and construction of their furniture. Copper clad materials, hygienic surfaces and of course barriers are changing the requirements for new build-outs. Others are adopting more subtle changes in layout and design that incorporate best practices for workplace efficiency and safety. BE partners closely with every company to balance their goals carefully while helping them choose from almost infinite options for exciting design within their budget.
  • Hygiene and safety – Regardless of whether your business is a traditional office space, a warehouse, a law firm, a clinic or anything else, the health and wellness of staff while on-site is critical. This should be supported in every phase of your office design, from selecting the right size office to ensuring peak wellness can be achieved by installing acrylic barriers on workstations, air purification systems, body temperature scanners and more.

Looking for Office Construction Services in NJ? Let’s Get to Work

Redesigning your office space for a post-COVID world is complex, but can be rewarding and cost effective when you have a good partner. At BE Builds, we’re dedicated to delivering exceptional office fit-outs on time and on budget. Whatever your office design challenges are, we’ll handle it all. Visit us at https://bebuilds.com/ for more information.

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/why-working-from-home-might-make-you-depressed-during-and-even-after-covid-19/

Originally posted at: https://bebuilds.com/redesigning-your-office-in-post-covid-world/

5 Things to Know Before Doing an Office Buildout

Are you ready to design an office space that meets all of your business needs? If you suspect that this is a complicated process, well you’re right. As a long time consultant and contractor for many office environments over the last 20 years, the team at BE has some good advice for company leaders who may be charged with this kind of project. Below are a few essential things you must consider before you start the office buildout process. These essential strategies will help this process go as smoothly as possible, while also saving time and unplanned expenses.

#1 – Determine Your Budget and Timeline

Start by developing answers to two of the most fundamental questions – how much are you willing to pay, and when would you like to move in. These questions will shape almost every aspect of your office buildout moving forward, from whether you are looking for a new site or not, to the size of the space and the kind of furnishings you want.

If you are leasing a space, it is important to speak to the landlord to negotiate the lease and see if they are to cover certain upgrades or not. If so, ensure you are compliant with the rules set in place for improvement projects, and discuss what will be considered as the property of the business.

#2 – Figure Out Your Spatial Needs

How much space do you really need? To answer this question, you need to determine what your office will be used for. This has changed significantly due to the on-going health crisis, where employers have had to adapt to remote working conditions.

As a result, it is now more important than ever to determine the use of your space. Will you need to accommodate a higher volume of people because they are essential workers that need a bigger space to ensure social distancing and meet capacity restrictions? Will you keep most of your employees working flexibly from home but need a smaller space for limited face-to-face collaborative meetings and brainstorming sessions? One good rule of thumb to use in the new normal? Plan for about 50 square feet per employee. While there are many factors that contribute here, this is a good starting point that also includes factors for bathrooms, hallways, teaming areas and such. If you have less than 10 employees you can potentially use smaller numbers, contact the team at BE Builds for more detailed information on office buildout guidelines.

#3 – Look at Ways to Save Money and Other Resources

Utility costs are a significant monthly expenditure, but with a considered approach to your office design, you can reduce these costs and access long-term savings. Saving electricity, water and other resources can be expensive if you are looking at solar installations or high-efficiency HVAC units, but there are plenty of budget-friendly ideas too. For example, using glass dividers to enclose different sections of the office space allows you to create private, naturally-lit areas that reduce reliance on fluorescent lighting. Similarly, installing LED lighting creates significant savings compared to halogen or fluorescent lighting. Installing a smart thermostat can help maximize savings from heating and cooling, while also making the office a more comfortable space.

#4 – Incorporate Strong Hygiene and Wellness Protocols into the Planning Process

A healthy office is a productive office! In recent years, businesses have started realizing the benefits of prioritizing wellness in the workplace1, from increased productivity and engagement to reduced absenteeism.

There are numerous ways to incorporate wellness concepts into your office space, including the use of ergonomic chairs and desks, maximizing natural lighting, introducing plants and outdoor spaces, strategic furniture placement for social distancing, air purification, sanitizing stations, and much more.

#5 – Consider The Future of Your Business

The question of, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” isn’t always an easy one to answer, especially in today’s business environment. The ongoing health crisis has affected and accelerated dramatic changes in all industries and workplaces, forcing businesses to adapt and become agile in a high-pressure environment. This has created changes in how we work, where we work, and even what we offer in terms of products and services.

As a result, work and office spaces need to reflect these changes. They need to align with long-term goals, be flexible in the short term, and help support productivity and engagement to play a strong role in the success of your business during and after COVID-19.

Contact BE Builds for Expert Advice on your Office Buildout in New Jersey

At BE Builds, we’re looking at designing and creating the offices of the future. Spaces that are uniquely suited to your business, as well as the external environment in which it operates. Backed by decades of experience in office fit-outs and office construction services, we’re ready to make your new office space a reality. Visit us today at https://bebuilds.com/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/347207

Originally posted at: https://bebuilds.com/things-to-know-before-doing-an-office-buildout/

In Every Pandemic, There’s an Opportunity

If you were considering an office-buildout before the pandemic hit, having lived through it can only be considered a blessing. At BE Builds, we’ve seen our clients designing workspaces that are dramatically different than the ones they would’ve designed just 12 months ago. Of course, there are enhanced safety considerations, but the reality is that the pandemic has created a design aesthetic – and opportunity – that doesn’t show any signs of going away soon. 

Health and Wellness Tech

Re-opening in a post-COVID world means making health and wellness a focus of office design rather than a productivity-enhancing perk, and the tech industry has really risen to the occasion. From touchless control systems and sensors to air purification systems, contactless access control and germ-killing UV lights, these systems work behind-the-scenes to support the health requirements of a post-COVID workplace. And these enhancements are not just a temporary investment due to the pandemic – they’re designed to deliver what every office needs for the long-term; healthier workers, reduced absenteeism due to illness and a workplace culture focused on physical and mental wellbeing.

Inventing the Wheel

Office design is constantly evolving in order for businesses to best fit the needs of workers, the environment they operate in, and goals for productivity and growth. In response to the pandemic, one innovative design has become a significant industry trend – the hub-and-spoke. In this office layout, a central hub workspace is designed for common use – meetings, collaborative engagement, brainstorming sessions, and team tasks – while smaller satellite workspaces or spokes are set out closer to employee’s homes. This meshes well with the need for socially-distanced office space in which to focus on productive tasks while still allowing employees flexibility and the ability to maintain a better work-life balance. 

This design is a great compromise on the either-or debate between working remotely or working in an office. Working from home simply doesn’t suit most businesses or employees – it makes collaboration difficult, work is constantly disrupted, and it lacks the stimulation and inherent productivity focus of an office environment. Using a hub-and-spoke design allows employees freedom to govern their time and independence better while providing them with quiet, well-equipped spaces in which to get things done, while still providing a space to collaborate, build relationships and develop a strong company culture.

Material Culture

Office cleaning has always been an important focus, from ensuring good indoor air quality and a pleasant-smelling environment to creating a neat, hygienic and professional space. Of course, this has moved to a considerably higher level of importance over the pandemic, and the trend of sanitized, germ-free workspaces will be a part of office design trends for years to come. This doesn’t mean just filtering air more carefully or cleaning more regularly, it means a change-up at every level of the office design itself. One way that this is being expressed is in the need for furniture and materials that can be quickly and easily cleaned. Gone are the velvets, leathers and upholsteries that trap dirt and germs and require special cleaning – instead, office designers are focusing on germ-resistant materials and furnishings that can stand up to regular sanitization and still look great.

Access to the Outdoors

Experts agree that one of the best ways of combating the spread of germs and viruses is as simple as plenty of fresh air. This is a challenge for most office buildings where, for decades, the emphasis has been on sealing buildings against natural air flow to support safety and indoor climate control. Today’s post-COVID office designs are looking for innovative ways to let the outside in, from creating outdoor meeting and cafeteria spaces to ensuring that windows can be opened to allow natural air flow through the space. Of course, this isn’t possible for many office buildings and is going to be a hard sell in the depths of winter or the height of summer, but for those spaces there are other solutions – high-efficiency air conditioning systems with the latest air filtration and purification tech. 

Build a Workspace for a Post-COVID World with BE Builds

BE Builds is an office design and buildout specialist focused on taking the stress and frustration of office construction. Knowledgeable about the needs of modern offices and the post-pandemic challenges businesses face, our experienced team will work with you to deliver a space that is safe, productive and as unique as your business. Visit us at https://bebuilds.com/