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How Remote Working is Affecting Office Design

Carrie Rossenfeld Office

Technology has enabled a huge number of office workers to work from just about anywhere. Have laptop and cell phone, will travel.

However, the concept of remote working has shifted, Jennifer Walton, principal and project director for Newport Beach, California–based H. Hendy Associates, tells SoCal Real Estate. “People still work remotely, but businesses now give workers this option for a different reason,” Walton says. “In the past, companies reduced their square footage and increased cost savings by having people work exclusively from home. Now, companies offer their employees the flexibility to work remotely as a perk.”

Jennifer Walton | Courtesy a representative of H. Hendy Associates

Walton also says companies are taking note of the concentration levels demonstrated by remote workers, observing the freedom they have to work in spaces that complement different tasks. “Consequently, businesses are now focused on drawing remote workers back in by designing workspaces that mirror their homes and other places in which they enjoy working. More and more employers are implementing indoor-outdoor workspaces, couches, and lounge areas in the office to give employees myriad options to their daily workstations.”

Some employers are drawing employees back to the office by offering them the option of working flexible hours as a perk, Walton notes. “Rather than tracking whether employees clock in at 8 a.m., companies are focusing on whether their workers are getting the job done.”

She points out that many businesses are even changing their vacation-time structure and giving employees unlimited time off. “This allows for autonomy, and employers are finding that in doing this, they’re gaining much more than they’re giving up.”

For more on office’s untethering trend, click here. For additional insights from Walton and an in-depth look at what’s next for office design, stay tuned for SoCal Real Estate’s October issue.