Private offices are having their moment again. Despite the rise in popularity of collaborative, flexible workplaces, more and more companies are, once again, asking about private offices, which are essential elements of the past that have slowly disappeared over the years.
While it may be a natural response to the pandemic and the need for personal space, many companies are looking to have private office spaces where their employees can go in, close the door, and experience privacy, security, and comfort whenever they need to.
Additionally, in the post-pandemic era, private offices are also seen as companies’ incentive for various leadership positions to return to the office, which then sets the precedence to encourage the rest of the employees to return as well.
What are private offices, and why do companies need them?
Private offices are most commonly found in traditional office models for professional services businesses, such as banking and law firms. However, as the global market is re-evaluating strategies and ways to incentivise their employees to return to their offices, private offices play a vital role in encouraging so.
Studies have shown that the presence of the leadership team is a vital factor in encouraging employees to come back to the office, especially those that are looking for guidance and mentorship. However, private offices these days are more than just private spaces for leadership. It also encompasses the company’s broader values and missions. While leadership spaces are vital, they should also be evaluated in the context of the culture and brand of the company – they are vital in flexible, inclusive workplaces.
Private offices specifically for one person are things of the past. With flexible furniture and materials, they can be designed to serve not only one person but also multiple users, integrating into a culture of collaboration and mentorship. While every office is different, a couple of core strategies can be considered to build the next generation of private offices.
1. Building a central core
The return of private offices does not necessarily mean the return of “secluded” office designs. Corporate spaces must understand that younger employees nowadays are looking for approachable and accessible leadership that offers optimal mentorship opportunities and sharing of expertise, experience, and knowledge.
Instead of the traditional corner private offices that are far away from the rest of the office, building private offices as the office space interior design central core increases accessibility and mobility throughout the company.
2. Designing for flexibility
In the modern workplace, multi-purpose is a key element to consider. Private offices can be made not just for a single employee but also for multiple purposes, such as heads-down work or one-on-one meetings. However, with office trends always changing, what if your company ends up not wanting to have a private office space in the future?
This is why designing for flexibility is a core strategy not to be missed. Through a purposefully thought-out layout, setup, and furnishings, such private offices can be more adaptable and flexible to varying needs – now and in the future. Such office space does not have to be secured with drywalls or metal stud framings. Rather, they can be made private with demountable and modular designs that can be opened and enclosed when needed.
3. Creating neighbourhoods
Creating a successful workplace is all about becoming a collection of employee- and company-centric environments. Every staff should have access to a change of environment, depending on their schedule of the day and their daily needs.
Private offices must be included in the neighbourhood planning, giving an individual much-needed solace if they need somewhere quiet to work or a space for one-on-one mentoring. Rather than thinking of bringing leadership out of their private office, perhaps we can consider creating a private office that encourages conversation and connection. The things about creating neighbourhoods are finding ways to encourage engagement beyond the walls of the office.
4. Technology upgrades
In the modern day and age, a good office design has to incorporate elements of technology right from the start and not as an afterthought. Furthermore, it has to be easily accessible and consistent throughout the office, encouraging space utilisation and mobility beyond the private office space.
Rather than focusing on incorporating technologies in only private offices, the aim of designing the rest of the office with similar technologies promotes equity and the concept that you can work anywhere seamlessly without worry. In fact, the inclusion of smart technologies will be a key corporate furniture trend in 2023.
If we have learned anything from our years of experience, it is that office trends can change quickly. Everything we know about offices and the working environment can change five years from now. While private offices could be gaining popularity now, the way we utilise them will only keep on evolving. Hence, we need to ensure that our office renovation designs are created with the capability to adapt and grow according to transforming employees’ needs as well as ones that generate varying values and meanings for the company.
Here at OSCA, our award-winning team ensures that your office design is value- and user-centric, meaning, from start to end, our design process centres around your company’s value, productivity, and well-being. Contact us at https://www.osca.asia/ to find out how we can help your company today!