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Back to the Office – Making it a Smooth and Positive Experience

Back to the Office

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The last two years have not been particularly kind to our offices.

Remote working has been fantastic in many ways; however, the office is tremendously important to vital elements such as culture, friendships, mentorship and growth of individuals and business.

As we are entering the lifting of Covid restrictions, businesses may realise that when looking at culture, team collaborations, and mentorship that the weekly or daily Zoom call is not enough for all employees, and even if working from home is an option, many staff would like the office interactions, even if only part time.

As humans, we desire a connection, team building, growth, bonding and being part of a community, all of which the office environment can provide above working from home.

Just the smallest of interactions are positive, passing someone on the way into work, saying “Hi’, seeing people’s body language in person, grabbing some lunch together, learning and teaching, all of these are as an aside from the actual scheduled workday and are of huge comfort and importance to us as humans.

As we move back to the office, be it hybrid or full time, what could be the positive changes that will be important to keep your staff motivated and happy during the reintroduction?

Design an Office that People Want to Come Back to

Now is a good time to consider how to make the back to work experience a better, more positive place than the work environment people have had at home.

An exclusive survey by CV-Library has found that 55.2% of UK professionals feel anxious about returning to work.

With over 1,100 responses, the survey set out to understand how workers across the UK truly felt about the impending return to work.

When asked why they had concerns, UK workers stated the following reasons:

I prefer the flexibility of working from home (73.4%)

I get more done when I’m not in the office (44%)

I don’t want to deal with office politics (37.1%)

I still feel uncomfortable because of COVID-19 (33.2%)

I must commute a long way (23.6%)

Anxiety skyrockets as UK professionals prepare to return to the office full-time – FE News

Making the break from home might seem a simple exercise on paper, yet the reality may be stressful and worrying for your staff, so let’s focus on the positive steps that could be taken to assist.

We have put together some positive office trends that lie ahead for 2022, and ways in which you could encourage your staff back to the office by creating a safe and happy environment.

Hybrid Working

Hybrid working has become an increasingly popular model, where employees spend part-time working from the office and part-time working from home.

One in four businesses is predicted to continue working in this way, in some way or other.

With more capacity available, it enables you to consider other ways of using this space, such as comfortable break areas, adding hot-desking space, private acoustic booths, coffee areas and these areas complemented with comfortable furniture.

These changes bring about a more homely feel to the office, which in turn will help the mental wellbeing of staff.

According to a YouGov Poll, while fewer businesses say they will allow workers to work remotely than at the height of the pandemic, it does show the move towards hybrid working.

One in four businesses intend to allow all workers to work from home at least some of the time | YouGov

Interior Design Trends

It is true to say, there is no place like home, and it is tremendously difficult to recreate the relaxed surroundings you get from working in your own home.

There is an expectation on employers to try to create the atmosphere that comes from being in the home environment, or better than the home environment.

Soft colours, cosy furniture, plants, and natural lighting could be essential for the office for 2022.

Colours are well known to affect moods, and using the right scheme for decor and furnishings should be considered when planning the return to work.

The design of the workplace influences the way people work, the mood of staff and in turn productivity. It is therefore important to not ignore the importance of the design.

As a business who cares about your staff and looks after your customers, what better way is there to show it then to practice what you preach?

Investing in staff facilities shows you’re willing to go the extra mile to look after the health and happiness of your employees and gives your clients a bit of a treat when they come to visit you.

With clever branded design and carefully selected furniture and fittings you could create the perfect, bespoke aesthetic that communicates exactly what your business is about, as soon as people walk through the door.

Colour Psychology: Does It Affect How You Feel?

Top interior design colours for offices in 2022 are predicted to be:

Natural Greens

Natural greens are relaxing but also soothing, keeping motivation levels high and keeping stress low.

Plants are also a homely addition to your green design.

Soft Blues

The colour blue is of course associated with the sky and the sea and in turn, gives the feeling of space and freedom. It is also considered to signify feelings of trust, wisdom, sincerity, and intelligence.

Neutral Colours

Office trends over the last few years have seen a softening in the selection of materials, textures, and shades.

This softening works hand in hand with design features such as private partitioned areas, soundproofed areas, and comfortable furnishings.

Moving away from the harsh office feel gives the important homely edge to the office.


As more companies become aware of their impact on the environment there is a shift towards creating a sustainable workplace, these practices have an impact on the bottom line for business but also the wellbeing of staff.

Sustainable office designs are using materials that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, recycled, recyclable, renewable or upcycled.

Let’s make our workplaces sustainable | WWF

Biophilic Design

Biophilia is known to increase staff productivity through a connection with nature.

Natural light, plants, living / green walls, and areas of tranquillity to relax are proven to be emotionally and intellectually beneficial.

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design in Your Office: 5 Simple Steps – Bring Nature Indoors

Team Building Days

Happy employees are more efficient and productive.

An Oxford University study, that shows when employees are satisfied, they have a 13% higher efficiency and productivity rate. An easy way to work on employee satisfaction is to have some fun and break up the normal work routine a little with fun games or activities.

It is even more important when you look at the other end of this, a Gallup survey showed that the feeling of isolation can decrease your employees’ productivity by 21 percent.

With many venues hoping to welcome people back through the door, or if space allows look at the options of creating this within your work environment, either way team building is a great all round for your valuable staff.

In conclusion, the workplace has undoubtedly changed in the last 2 years. We need to consider the wellbeing of all our staff in the unprecedented time we are living in, what changes will you be thinking about?

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