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This Article is From Jan 17, 2023

Flexible Office Spaces: 2023 Trends And Beyond

We expect 2023 to be a defining year for the workplace, with most enterprises rethinking their offices through the future readiness lens.

Flexible Office Spaces: 2023 Trends And Beyond

We expect 2023 to be a defining year for the workplace.

New Delhi:

The years after the COVID-19 pandemic can best be described as sudden, abrupt, unexpected, and disruptive. Business continuity became dependent on remote working capabilities, and employees turned their homes into workspaces. We are now in the post pandemic work era, and businesses face the unprecedented challenge of getting employees to return to the office. The change in employee expectations and aspirations is an opportunity for business leaders to reconfigure their workspaces for the future. Modern workspaces must move from office-centric to human-centric, prioritizing flexibility, employee well-being, and sustainability. The contemporary office now plays a pivotal role in defining the identity of an enterprise. It forms a crucial link in employee satisfaction, productivity, attrition, and the enterprises' success in attracting desired talent.

We expect 2023 to be a defining year for the workplace, with most enterprises rethinking their offices through the future readiness lens. Enterprises are gearing up for better alignment of organizational goals, technology adoption, and operational frameworks to suit modern work preferences. Here are five major transformational trends to watch out for in the coming year.

Managed Workspaces Will Become More Mainstream

Managed workspaces are no longer the exclusive domain of startups, freelancers, and solopreneurs. Large and medium-sized enterprises from across industries and sectors today view them as viable alternatives to the traditional office. As the hybrid and distributed workforce models become mainstream, enterprises are embracing cost-effective methods to scale their capacity and streamline office administration. By outsourcing facilities management and administrative functions, enterprises can focus on their core business activities, allowing staff to concentrate on strategy and making room for innovation. A survey by property consultant Colliers shows that 38% of respondents from large, mid-sized, and small firms intend to expand their office portfolio through hybrid work models, with Technology, BFSI, Consulting, and Engineering sectors pioneering the hybrid approach. Managed workspaces enable this flexibility while fostering an atmosphere of creativity and collaboration that helps entice employees back into the office.

Workspaces Will Be Re-Designed As Intelligent And Data-driven

Workspaces will become smarter and more intuitive as digitization progresses. Workspace trends will continue to evolve, and enterprises will need to rely more heavily on data and analytics for answers to the future of work conundrums. Digitized workspaces can provide valuable insights into employee performance, capacity utilization, behavioral patterns, and other critical parameters. Technology interventions can help improve communication, efficiency, and employee productivity, paving the way for business growth and profitability.

For example, customized apps in a shared workspace that offers facilities like conference rooms, gymnasiums, and creches can help users with real-time information like temperature control, sanitization drives, and availability. Similarly, automated visitor management systems are customized to suit organizations' specific policies while reducing administrative staff's workload and streamlining safety and operational requisites. Digitally enabled workspaces enhance flexibility for large and small businesses, helping them adapt quickly to changing workplace cultures and minimizing business disruption.

Focus On Holistic Office Experiences

The last two years of remote work have altered the fabric of our work culture. Employees missed out on the experience and joys of collaboration, personal interaction, the deep sense of belonging to a team, and contributing to a larger goal. According to the Gensler India Workplace Survey 2021, while most employees prefer a hybrid work model, their top reasons for returning to the office were collaboration and learning, enhanced focus, health/well-being, and technology benefits. The traditional 'desk and chair' workstation is now outdated, and corporations expect more holistic environments from their outsourced workspaces. Provisions for wellness rooms, health and fitness centres, and dedicated recreation spaces that enable better work-life balance are now more the norm than the exception. Corporates understand that more holistic work environments lead to key organizational benefits like increased performance, employee intent to stay, and reduced fatigue.

Workspaces Will Need To Keep Up With The Tech Expectations Of Young Professionals

In the future workplace, deep tech like AI and IoT will play a more intrinsic role in daily operations. Technologies that enhance communication and collaboration, improve data security, integrate teams, and provide virtual assistance are transforming the modern workplace. We expect these and other emerging technologies to significantly enhance employee experience and enable a more flexible and dynamic way of working.

Technologies like hot-desking- where employees book their workstations to suit their dynamic schedules, have already become workplace staples. We expect more workforce solutions to emerge and shape the workplace in 2023.

Non-Metro Markets Become Office Destinations

The flexi work model demands a decentralized approach to office management. Instead of employees relocating for work, managed office spaces now allow corporations to relocate for their employees. This is a massive opportunity for companies to gain cost efficiency, tap into the growing talent pool in non-metro cities and identify new and exciting growth opportunities. Lower rentals and availability of reputed shared-working spaces with modern infrastructure, tech enabled facilities, and amenities are fuelling demand and growth of flexible spaces in tier 2 cities.