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As the year nears its end, many landlords, property owners, and tenants hope for a more stable year in the new normal in 2021. However, workplace strategists predict that next year may not be as different as businesses and companies continue to keep up with the changes brought by the pandemic.

Here are some of the trends that will continue in the workplace next year:

Employees over Environment

Many workplace strategists emphasize the importance of putting people first in the new normal. More than preparing a much healthier and safer environment for business re-entry plans, experts agree that one of the biggest trends next year is the shift in prioritizing the overall well-being of employees—from their physical, social, and mental health.

Companies should focus more on the welfare of their employees themselves than the office environment, by immediately addressing the fear of going back to the workplace. Workplace strategists agree that this is an important concern that should be prioritized as part of its reopening strategy. Businesses can launch more programs and features that are geared to promoting their overall health and well-being given its crucial role in ensuring a productive workforce.

Despite this emphasis, companies should still aim to provide a COVID-secure workplace that complies with government guidelines and protocol. This should include improved sanitation and cleaning measures, increased airflow and improved indoor air quality, physical distancing, and limited physical contact between employees.

Offices are still relevant

While many companies indefinitely allow remote working, office spaces will still be as relevant in 2021. The need for businesses to have a common space to host a venue for employee engagement, collaboration, and learning will be more crucial after months of isolation and work from home burnout. More employees may want the option to choose to work in their 3H’s: Home, Hubs, and Headquarters, but offices remain to be a business’ central hub and it is not going to change anytime soon.

When it comes to workplace design, strategists work on how to make shared spaces safer as many employees would look forward to reconnecting with their colleagues and rebuild their depleted levels of social capital.

Digital Workplace

While the physical office is still important for companies, hybrid or blended realities will also be one of the trends in the workplace for 2021. Workplace strategists and designers predict more companies will be entering a “bridge” phase next year that aims to connect the gap between traditional and flexible work set-ups. This will continue until circumstances become more stable.

Moreover, employees also expect companies to aid in providing flexibility, social cohesion, and effective c3ommunication given this new working arrangement.

READ MORE: Back to the Office Strategies: Will Hybrid Reality be Effective in the Philippines?

Office spaces will adopt advanced technologies to make this possible and ensure that the workplace is safer while still being a place for connection and collaboration.

Green Light for Sustainability

Workplace strategists believe that 2021 will be a better year for the push for sustainability in commercial buildings and spaces. More people realize after the pandemic that office buildings should no longer be just “containers” for people but rather an experience supercharger where most people satisfy their needs for socialization and human-to-human connections. The function of the office should become less about maximizing workplace density and geared toward the quality of the space and the experience it delivers.

More people will also be looking for companies that promote a holistic approach to sustainability in the workplace. According to a study, younger generations in the labor force prefer companies that ‘align with their moral values across environmental, social, and governance initiatives’.

Workplace strategists predict that 2021 will be a period of finetuning the changes and modifications that were rushed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these trends are not new and some have been for years, a renewed emphasis on their importance has resulted from this global change.

Preparing your workplace strategy for next year? Discover what we can do for your business. Contact Rita Kash at (+63) 917-524-8045. You may also reach out to us by calling (+63) 2-8403-5519 or sending an email to [email protected].