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Welcome back to the office. It’s been a while!

Returning to a pre-pandemic work life feels a bit like going back to a destination we visited years ago. Many things are familiar, others look different and what lies ahead is somewhat unknown—mainly because we’re entering an entirely new era of work.

At its best, the office is a place for collaboration, camaraderie and inspiration. While much of that was upended in 2020, the road back has begun in earnest and companies are taking a variety of paths to welcome people to the office.

Are your employees in the office, or planning to return in at least a hybrid form before the end of 2023? If the answer is “yes,” we have some ideas to inject vibrancy, energy and a feeling of home into your workspace.

The Comforts of Home Lead to Productivity in the New Office

One of the lessons from the pandemic (and work-from-home life) was that many people found themselves to be more productive at home.

This revelation has led to dramatic shifts in how the office is designed, and how it’s viewed by employees as they return to work. Home is comfortable. The office has never been quite as comfortable—but why shouldn’t it be?

The short answer is that there’s long been a distinction between the two—think of the term “work-life balance,” for example. But after a year of no line in the sand between work and home, employees are making it known what would entice them about coming back to the office.

What they’re looking for is a workplace that’s comfortable and welcoming, just like home.

As employers, it’s time to consider all areas or zones of the office, and ask a few questions:

1. Is this area comfortable and supportive, whether someone is working here or simply taking a break?
2. Do our collaborative or open-space areas truly invite people to get together, be it work related discussions or catching up over coffee?
3. Does the aesthetic of each space give off warm, energetic vibes?

Setup For Success

So, how can you set employees up for success? That’s been the inspiration behind some of our recent furniture innovations at HON.

Welcome Back To The Office - WestHill-VN3
Featured Product: West Hill™

The same can be said for Astir™ Collaborative Work, a unique and exciting furniture solution that provides multiple configuration options for group or communal settings. If you want to bring people together safely, Astir™ will do just that.

Customize Your Workspaces and Give Employees the Power of Choice

Today’s workforce loves the ability to customize spaces and bring a little bit of home along for the ride. Whether it’s family photos, plants or other mementos, it’s important that everyone has the space to display, organize or store items at their personal workspace.

The objective is two-fold: one, to empower people to design their own space, and two, to provide the comforts of home to which they’re accustomed.

Welcome back to the office - Workwall
Featured Product: Workwall

One of HON’s latest introductions, Workwall, is a perfect fit. With customizable shelving, storage and wall tile options, this is the do-it-all “command central” employees have been asking for.

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Featured Product: HON's Contain®

Other storage offerings, like Contain®, help people stay organized and keep everything within reach— whether it’s work or personal items (like portable speakers, tablets or sneakers).

Create a Space That Employees Will Love to be Back In

There’s tangible and exciting change happening in the way we work—and the way we create spaces that inspire.

No one wants to work where they don’t feel confident and energized, and no one wants the same-old, same-old office, especially after over a year of working in a deeply comfortable home environment.

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One element that’s become a focal point is noise. Working remotely has its advantages, and limiting distractions is chief among them.

Data from Contract Furniture Weekly shows that noise has a negative impact on mood. HON’s Acoustics line from Unika Vaev keeps disruptive noise at bay, and is specifically designed to help absorb and diffuse sound within the workspace. Customers can choose from tile and screens to reduce noise wherever needed.

Welcome back to the office - Unika Vaev
Featured Product: Unika Vaev

That’s why this moment is so important for employers, and we’re here to help. Get your employees excited about the office and give them the chance to make it their own as well. Contact our furniture team today to get started.