Once the majority of the workforce was sent home in early 2020, there were definitely those people who set up new shop right away. They identified a dedicated area where they recreated their office comforts – ergonomic chair, dual monitors, work space, rescued plant. They use that space to get their work done – nothing more, nothing less. And for the most part, two-plus years later, these workers are quite content to stay where they are, remaining productive and comfortable, if maybe a little more disconnected from their peers.
Some work-from-home employees never quite carved out the same space. These home office nomads continue to wander from counter to couch to table to, well, wherever, carrying their laptop and a little stack of necessary items along with them until they tire of that locale and move on elsewhere in the home.
For those organizations that are looking to bring their employees back to the office, chances are, the home office nomads could be easily convinced, especially with the right incentives. No, not free lunches (although we’re sure that would go a long way too!), but an office furniture refresh, to bring some of the comfortability of home back into the office, but still in a professional way that allows for and encourages collaboration and productivity.
New investments in really comfortable chairs are a good start, as are a range of fun seating options, including collaborative seat arrangements and funky pieces like hanging basket chairs – all available in a range of colors to add some pop or unify your branding. The latest ergonomic chairs are amazing both to look at and to sit in!
Break rooms are another good place to focus attention, as part of the draw for bringing people back into the office is for the conversations that occur organically when people are in-person together. A thoughtful configuration of high-top pub-style and café tables with playful seating creates just the right kind of atmosphere to make people feel welcome, as well as missing some of the creature comforts of home a bit less.
The attraction of outdoors is another worthwhile consideration. For those who are able, outdoor office furniture is a real draw, with new exciting pieces being designed and built and added to our collection constantly! Don’t have an outdoor space to make your own? Bring the outside in with living green walls that truly add vitality and a sense of equilibrium to any work environment.
Working from home is great for some people and for some organizations. For those who are looking to encourage employees to come back to the office, it’s worthwhile to think about what makes the home office so appealing, and then replicate some of those aspects in your own office design.