Nearly a year ago, companies of all sectors and sizes entered the telework era at a rapid pace. With all the advantages and disadvantages we know, from a professional and personal point of view. Ten months later, and with the health situation still worrying, the very future of the physical office is being questioned. How often do you go there? For what reasons? Can we do without it completely? What requirements must it meet? The question that everyone is asking themselves is: what is the ideal office today and tomorrow?
All these questions were answered in our white paper Welcome to the ideal office, produced in partnership with BureauxLocaux, through a questionnaire sent to 350 professionals with an ongoing real estate project, and interviews with experts.
The collective’s place of expression
“Hell is other people,” wrote Sartres. Until, however, we are really deprived of it. While the survey reveals that going to the office is, in 71% of cases, useful to see colleagues and talk to them, it reveals above all that nothing can replace face-to-face human interaction. Especially when it comes to collectively carrying out a project. “The office conveys the company’s employer brand, its external and internal image, and ensures internal cohesion,” analyses Alain d’Iribarne, economist, labour sociologist and chairman of Actineo’s scientific board. Thus, for top management and all the teams, the ideal office is one where people can meet physically, exchange ideas and work together, where they can express themselves as a team.
Optimal working conditions
From the very beginning of the first announced confinement, Marie, like many other neo-teleworkers, was delighted to be able to write her e-mails and conduct her meetings from her sofa, a cup of steaming tea at hand, curtains drawn to avoid reflections on her computer screen, and classical music in the background. But very quickly, the sofa was abandoned in favour of the bedroom where the network seemed less capricious, the earplugs stored in her bedside table became her best allies against the cries of the neighbours’ children, headaches and lumbar pains appeared, with them a furious desire for fresh air. So, when her employer reopened his offices and Marie was able to return to her workstation, she demanded, as did 50% of our respondents, that this place allow her to concentrate and isolate herself. And among the priorities, an excellent internet connection and good office automation, as well as a comfortable and adjustable office chair, not forgetting access to natural light… enough to make Marie forget her uncomfortable beginnings in teleworking, in this new era that is beginning.
A meaningful place
At Multiburo, we are convinced of one thing: whether it is the headquarters of a company or a third party, the office must look like the one that occupies it. “The design of the ideal office must incorporate the growing porosity of the boundaries between private and professional life,” emphasises Stéphanie Auxenfans, Managing Director of Multiburo. This is also what our survey reveals, since the expectations of the respondents converge towards an office that is easy to access, particularly by public transport, where life in the neighbourhood is dynamic and where the habits adopted – in terms of eco-friendly behaviour, to name but a few – are the right ones.
To sum up, the ideal physical office, the “after” office, will be the one where you go less, but work better. An open, smart and flexible office, in the image of the workers themselves. An office that may not be located at the same address every day, that will be close to home and, above all, that will guarantee that the tasks we will perform there, alone or collectively, will be carried out in good conditions.