It used to be, the term “work from home” applied to creative types, solopreneurs and struggling start-ups. Then came 2020 and WFH is synonymous with the “new norm”. But, it may change again.
Which begs the question: How should our workplace evolve, post pandemic, to cater to the way we now work?
IKEA Singapore jumped on this and revamped its Tampines office to provide a Swedish answer to the question.
IKEA Singapore’s post pandemic workplace kills many birds with one stone
Firstly, IKEA remodeled the office to meet the government’s safe distancing guidelines.
Secondly, it wanted to create an inspiring space for co-workers to return to. At the moment, IKEA Singapore’s 180-strong workforce is split into teams that work alternate weeks in the office and at home to abide by safe distancing rules.
And thirdly, the remodel serves as a “template” or inspiration for their IKEA for Business clients. Consider it an extended office showroom, a “see how we can makeover your workplace for when your employees return to the office.”
Staggered desk layout to practise safe distancing
Sit/Stand desks let co-workers choose the way they want to work. Changing positions support overall health and wellbeing.
Other than the physical layout changes, IKEA Singapore rethought how people got work done. For instance, they did away with designated desk spaces. Sadly, that means no more “personalising your cubicle” with photos and such. The “hotdesk” concept allows for greater fluidity for people who need to work together to sit together. Taking this step further than the regular company, IKEA Sg co-workers book their desks through an app for half a day, a day or however long they want to.
If you rather not be confined at a desk, there is the “lounge” where you can work on a comfy wingback chair.
Escape pods for co-workers to work alone, or focus on a specific task and concentrate. Soundproofed for calls, virtual meetings or reflection. Probably great for a catnap too.
Meeting rooms of various sizes and configurations dot the workspace. They run the gamut of a large boardroom to a cozy room with plush seating for face to face or virtual meetups.
The most “IKEA” part of the office has to be the open space they call the Swedish Steps. An open flexible space that can be used for a townhall, discussions, alternate work zone or to dream up the next IKEA project.
Making it better
Understanding that the office is not just a place to work, IKEA Sg also incorporated a fully functional cafe-like pantry, mother care rooms and changing rooms.
With an office like that, I’d be raring to leave the comforts of home for work.