I’ve been working from my flat, which I share with one other person. It’s a comfortable place to work, with lots of natural light and a small balcony. But the new norm of daily conference calls means that an open plan living space presents challenges – and often requires one of us to work from a bedroom.
Working from home makes you realise the value of different spaces for different tasks. The nature of our work as a design team at TOG is highly collaborative, so where possible we’ve been trying to work from our studio at Henry Wood House, a few days a week. When we’re there, we’re able to work creatively as a team either in the main studio or a meeting room, with the choice of changing to quieter work zones as needed – and that’s the magic of the office. When you just have one environment, it can hinder productivity because you don’t get the time to reset that moving between different spaces can provide.
Everyone’s work preferences are individual and often depend on the task at hand. In an office environment, you can move around and seek out areas to catch up with a colleague or alternatively, focus and concentrate. Over the last year, we’ve been doing a lot of industry research and speaking to clients. What comes through, right across all businesses, is that people have missed all the elements that make up a work space aside from a desk and a chair. And as clients are thinking about returning to work, they’re realising rows of fixed desks may no longer reflect their needs.