The 2021 Office Interior Fit Out London: What Will Change and Why?

What will the 2021 office interior fit out London look like and why? Right now the spread of Covid-19 is the determining factor in everything we do: the way we socialise, shop, keep fit and work. It is therefore, not surprising to learn that it is changing the requirement for office space and commercial office design.

The Direct Impact of Covid-19 on Office Space

Businesses have never before been vulnerable to such an unpredictable entity. With staff forced to work from home, new processes have quickly reinvented the way organisations operated. As a result, company owners are using the opportunity to reduce whatever overheads they can in an attempt to save jobs and the business.

It became apparent early on in the pandemic that downsizing office space was inevitable for many companies. The cost savings associated with staff work from home, while maintaining operations, proved that businesses no longer required copious office space.

If that wasn’t enough, the mounting rent arrears, which Landlords could not enforce during the months of March to December, will inevitably need to be recouped at some point in the future. Almost overnight the pandemic caused a shift the commercial property sector. Now business owners are rethinking their office space needs. We expect to see three emerging trends for the office interior fit out in 2021.

What Can We Expect From An Office Interior Fit Out London in 2021?

London is at the epicentre of cultural and business influence in the UK. As a commercial refurbishment company in London, it is in our interests to observe the trends in the capitals property market in order to advise our clients on the best solutions for their office interior fit out.

With many London firms expecting to move, redesign or sublet areas of their office space, we predict a number of trends that will effect to the look and functionality of the 2021 office interior fit out London. These include:

  • Downsizing – reducing office space to accommodate working from home
  • Blended Work Spaces – flexible workspaces and increased meeting areas
  • Resimercial Design – a cross between residential and commercial office design focussed on creating a comfortable and familiar working environment

Downsizing – Who is Doing it and Why?

Downsizing office spaces will undoubtedly be a leading factor in the commercial property market in 2021. Those businesses that have made significant redundancies, due to Covid-19 and the increase of staff working from home, means London firms are reviewing the need for large office space.

According to a survey by Accumulate Capital, published in London Loves Business, 73% of decision-makers believe Covid-19 will result in more UK businesses downsizing to smaller office spaces in 2021.

37% are planning to relocate to a smaller commercial space. However workspace are by no means redundant; 57% of businesses will still rely on a physical workspace to network and conduct meetings with staff and clients.

Unsurprisingly, 58% of businesses believe working from home will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Is Downsizing for You?

Ultimately, the decision to downsize is not easy, and should certainly not be taken lightly. Covid-19 has impacted on every sector , so before downsizing consider this:

  • will downsizing benefit you in the long term?
  • when life returns to normal, will you need to upsize again? In which case, is it worth it?
  • what are your recruitment goals after the pandemic? Where is this talent pool and are they experienced enough to work independently at home?
  • what are your workplace requirements?
  • where will you maximise your profitability?
  • does your brand rely on an central location

If downsizing is for you, the first thing to consider is how long is left on the lease. Talk to your landlord and ask if there is an option to reduce the lease term.

What is the Alternative to Downsizing?

If you still have a significant amount of time left on your lease, or you are biding your time to see how your business recovers and what the property market does, then there are some alternatives to downsizing.

Subletting a portion of your office space could help cover some of your overheads and help another business at the same time. Our blog cash in on the extra space in your business premises is a worthwhile read if this is something you could consider. Obviously, it’s important to check with your landlord before advertising the available space.

An office interior fit out London could be the solution too. Reconfigure your space to allow for social distancing and welcome back your staff when the time is right. You can create department bubbles by installing office partitions and altering the layout. This could be the solution to getting your business back to normal operation as quickly as possible.

Blended Work Space Strategy

The aforementioned survey revealed that 45% of business owners do not expect their employees to all work in the office at the same time after the pandemic. As a result, we can expect to see a rise in ‘Blended Work Spaces’.

What are Blended Work Spaces? This is a new terminology for offices that accommodate employees that work from home and the office for a few days within the working week or month.

Blended workspaces will become the norm for many London organisations – large and small. If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it is that in most circumstances we can work from home, reduce travel and business overheads, simply by combining home and office working arrangements.

The difference between a standard workplace and a blended office space will be that employees will  not have their own dedicated desk. Instead they will implement a hot desking  or an activity-based system for a fluid working environment.

Resimercial Office Interior Fit Out London

In 2021 expect to see office interiors that take inspiration from the home. This cocktail of residential and commercial office design is a new concept. It is intended to ease the transition from home to the office as the lockdown eases.

Eventually, we can expect to return to the office in some capacity, but no doubt we will miss the creature comforts of our own homes. Rolling out of bed, putting on the leisure wear and cracking on with work rather than travelling hours to get to work are just some of the joys that employees will miss.

To ease that transition from home to work life, an office interior fit out London with resimercial design could make all the difference.

Using warm lighting, homely soft furnishings, personalised accessories and eclectic styling, your office could offer the perfect balance between working from home and the office.

Increase Meeting Spaces

It is believed that when life returns to normal there will be 30% less staff in the office at one time compared to before the pandemic. It can be assumed that many of us will return to touch base with colleague for regular meetings, while working from home the rest of the time.

As a result there could be less of a requirement to supply each colleague with a desk, instead provide adequate meeting facilities for teams.

If meeting spaces are on the rise, there are many options to creating a vibrant and inspiring space for teams to gather. The essential features of a post pandemic meeting room fit out will be:

  • video conferencing equipment
  • audio visual installation, including screens and speakers
  • comfortable seating for long meetings
  • a table adequate for working as a team
  • acoustic panelling and partitions to reduce reverberation
  • decor that echoes your branding and company ethos

Consideration the Employee Experience

After months of working from home, do your employees want to return to the office full time? A survey by Insolvency Support, reported the average employee would take a £2,665.62 pay cut per year in order to continue working from home when the pandemic ends. That is an incredible £222 pay cut per month!

The fact is employees have become used to working from home. Businesses have invested in new IT systems, and video conferencing has made virtual interactions feasible.

However, there is much to be said for the mental wellbeing of employees. We need human interaction to build relationships, which in turn created a stronger and refined team.

Younger staff also need the influence of more experienced employees to learn their trade and develop a strong work ethic.

So, before making plans for your office space in 2021, be sure to talk to your employees first. Ask how they have found working from home and find out how they feel about returning to the office. Some will be pleased to return to work as normal, while others firmly believe they work better from home.

Each business is different and each employee works differently. Ultimately, your office interior fit out will be unique. Here to help you realise your office interior fit out London for 2021 is JBH Refurbishments. Contact our team to arrange a site visit and discuss your office design needs.

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