Building A New Kind of Office

The pandemic catalysed a significant societal change for office space: one where the future of the workplace is hybrid and flexible. Commercial property stands at a crossroads as the demand for fixed office space decreases whilst businesses have a renewed focus on collaboration, well being and productivity.

In this article, Adrian Powell at Active Workplace Solutions discusses some of ways office space is being modified and created.

Increasingly, people can work from home for at least part of the week, typically doing tasks that require a high level of focus whereas the office is becoming a social destination where strategising, brainstorming, and more collaborative activities can be undertaken.

Many organisations have been quick to both rationalise their estate and create a new model for their workforce. Jupiter Networks, for example, took the decision to amalgamate two UK office communities with more than 200 employees. These two communities were brought together under one brand-new roof using a design concept entirely dedicated to hybrid working.

“The office design of the future is not purely functional; it is adaptable, flexible, and modular. Exit the cubicles, and enter the collaborative lounge spaces, shared desks, stand-up meeting tables, and multi-purpose rooms." states Adrian Powell, who has witnessed first-hand how the physical office is being re-imagined less as a place of routine and obligation, and more a repository of company culture and values.

“Almost every new fit out client we see this year has been looking to meet the hybrid brief. The likes of Juniper, Petrofac and Channel 4 all want to provide spaces for employees to connect, communicate and build a strong culture. Also, awareness around creating spaces that promote general well-being is growing. Employers are now sensitive to how well-being can increase productivity and reduce employee turnover; absolutely critical given the war on talent."

So how are these front-runners delivering the stunning spaces that they are and what are the principles behind the designs?

“We are social creatures that thrive on interaction", continues Adrian “and hybrid working means that offices are increasingly designed with multiple social occasion areas. Our team is creating lounge areas, communal spaces and gaming facilities for our clients who see this as a great way to bring their team together and encourage more in-office time."

“We are also catering to the rising demand for spaces that can flex in size for our customers. Folding doors expanding tables all allow premium spaces to accommodate small and large gatherings without the people feeling either cramped or swamped."

Having the ability to create larger spaces from smaller ones at the swing of a hinge is an ideal approach to encourage employees to come in and stay updated on key company events and announcements.

The new hybrid office also caters to the new desires and expectations of employees to be able to access some of the relaxing amenities of home. “Lounge areas are really popular in our design remit at the moment. We have created some truly stunning casual spaces with sumptuous seating, mood lighting and even a fireplace or two." says Adrian,“The finishes are trending to be more 5 Star Hotel than airport lounge and some of our clients report that their lucky staff are practically fighting over who gets to use them."

Bringing the outside inside when it comes to office space can have a big boost on employee productivity.

Plants, greenery and views of nature are also bang on trend in the office designs we are delivering," states Adrian, “Gone are the days where the office is an airless box with strip lighting, and we have loved creating some stunning visuals that bring nature into the workplace."

“Creating an effective hybrid office that promotes wellbeing can be as granular as choosing the right kind of desks." continues Adrian. “And one of the biggest impact systems we commonly put in place is sit-stand desks. By standing and changing position, people get a kick of energy, reduce back pain and improve their posture."

Whether it is for a high energy environment or a slower paced one, clever office design has a profound effect on how people behave; a thoughtfully designed and innovative workspace will increase engagement, well being, and collaboration. “Making the most of the limited time workers spend on business premises with the new ways of working and getting raising productivity in the most efficient and attractive way possible is key in the design of the best hybrid offices we are delivering for our forward-thinking clients." concludes Adrian Powell.

Choose Active For Hybrid Working Solutions

No matter their industry or personal requirements, we have built up a strong portfolio of office design, relocation, furniture procurement and storage solutions – why not take a look for yourself to see how they align with your own ambitions?

To learn more about how our team can offer you bespoke facilities management, feel free to get in touch with us today. Give us a call on 0845130 9066 or send an e-mail to and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.