up to 35% freed up square meters

The impact of the boom in teleworking on office space has been very clear: up to 35% of surface area gained. This is enough to accelerate the trend, which largely predates the Covid crisis, of the transformation of offices and working methods. This explains to us Antoine Prettre, director of the production and design department of the Global group. Antoine works more particularly on head offices, mainly in Ile-de-France. Its core business is the development of tertiary spaces, particularly for traditional companies. As a result, his testimony, captured on the company’s premises in Pantin, is particularly interesting, because it rids us of the bias of the analysis of the impact of teleworking by companies in the high-tech sector.

Impact of telework and evolution of office spaces

The impact of telework on office space has been very clear: up to 35% of surface area gained. This has accelerated the trend, already well under way, of transforming offices and ways of working.

The new situation has a strong impact on the evolution of workspaces

The layout of office space has evolved enormously in recent years, and the Covid crisis has accelerated this transformation.

Teleworking generates between 15 and 35% space savings

evolution of office spaces
The development of office spaces has moved away from the rule where “a space corresponds to a single function” explained Antoine Prettre

These saved spaces will be dedicated to other activities, will lead companies to move or to work on other subjects.

“Very classic offices, where a space responds to a function and where we confine ourselves to a few spaces, the office, the meeting or the circulation, have been completely transformed” explains Antoine.

We now tend to divide the day into different tasks and we will create as many spaces as tasks in the same day

The appearance of Contract furniture (furniture created specifically for places for collective, private or public use) has brought housing into office space. It accelerated very quickly. The time when the office was a sad place populated by gray cupboards is well and truly over.

impact of telework
Contract furniture according to the Poubeau house in Bourges

the contract furniture has gradually invaded offices, and this post-Covid period has completely confirmed the fusion of trends from housing and office layouts.

“The hotel industry is completely in the office space” explains Antoine, we now arranges workspaces as one would arrange a hotel or a house.

It is extraordinary for architects to be able to develop spaces that mix housing and offices

Office furniture suppliers adapt

“They all know how to develop their range more or less quickly,” adds Antoine.

We no longer fit out an office without asking ourselves the question: “what furniture are we going to put in place?” »

Style trends

In terms of style, Swedish furniture made in China is less popular according to the expert from the Global group.

“We mainly work with European furniture, preferably French, to meet the expectations of the customer: the heather, the bobo, the Nordic, allow you to choose from all the ranges of furniture” he develops.

impact of telework
The furniture of the French manufacturer Dizy – which equips the offices of Visionary Marketing – is labeled eco-responsible and made in France from mostly locally sourced wood. Note the fusion between the style of furniture for teleworking and those made for office spaces

Let’s take a few examples of industries and their different office design needs.

The lawyers, for example, need to have large acoustically isolated offices, for notions of confidentiality. Despite everything, they are asking themselves the question of transforming part of their space into more common places, which invite discussion and bring employees back to the office.

The insurers have an approach to space completely opposite to that of lawyers, with large departments within large open spaces. They don’t ask the same questions at all.

The space will be laid out in a very open way, but with small informal places inviting people to meet and discuss, while serving as a separation between the different spaces.

Open spaces that brought together 80 people in the same place are inconceivable today

We are now limited to a maximum of ten or fifteen people, while using meeting spaces or informal spaces to divide the space.

Open spaces that brought together 80 people in the same place are inconceivable today

The areas where staff are nomadic, with teams often required to be remote from the workspace, are now trying to bring together all members of the company. Companies in these sectors create common spaces that invite you to come back to the office. They create “village square” spaces, for example, or hybrid common spaces, which have the function of bringing people together at work.

The EU Star report (2006) described the different types of nomadism. Very different profiles which are not unrelated to their needs in terms of workspaces.

Office spaces dedicated to headquarters, with companies that come together in the same space through mergers that happen very regularly, have also freed up office space through teleworking and flex office.

This sector has every interest in bringing together the different companies within the same space, in which we will always work to meet the different needs and to optimize the surface.

A gain in flexibility

In conclusion, this release of workspaces has given companies another approach.

The crisis has just passed, but companies remain much more flexible thanks to these new arrangements.

They apprehend much more simply a flow of people who would come or who would no longer come to work. The workspace has been transformed and the ability to adapt is much stronger.

The Work Environment and Purchasing Fair, Porte de Versailles, on May 30, 31 and June 1, will deal with the design, furniture and layout of workspaces, and these subjects will be the subject of numerous conferences. You will be able to find the Global group and Antoine Prettre who will be speaking at the show.

Yann Gourvennec
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