employee wellbeing
It has been four years since the pandemic and the start of the work-from-home era.  

While in-office work has returned for many, be it hybrid or full-time, today’s employees are looking for workspaces more in line with the comforts of home. 

It is this demand that birthed the “resimercial” residential/commercial concept, which prioritises employee wellbeing with a new kind of workspace. Think soft lighting, plants, art and decor, and new spatial-planning considerations to include relaxation zones, fully equipped kitchens, spaces to work out and anything else that may make coming into the office worth the commute.  

Home at work 

Adapting to this shift, and to attract and retain talent, many companies are increasingly developing or redeveloping offices with this residential sensibility in mind.  

“Many businesses are trying to understand how their space can better engage their hybrid workforce, and encourage productivity and company culture,” says Adrian Davidson, head of design (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) at Tétris Furniture Solutions. “The good news is that there are forward-looking companies that are getting it right, offering valuable insights for creating office environments that employees are excited to use.” 

employee wellbeing

The “resimercial” concept demands the evolution of existing spaces into more flexible offices that prioritise comfort and aesthetics. Photographer: Adam Letch

Prioritising comfort 

Tétris Furniture Solutions, the furnishings arm of seasoned commercial design consultancy, Tétris Design and Build, has played a significant role in partnering with both clients and suppliers to facilitate the evolution of existing spaces into more flexible offices that prioritise comfort and aesthetics.  

Soft furnishings, including art, curtains, rugs, cushions, linens and furniture coverings, contribute to this. In the two and a half years since the inception of Tétris Furniture Solutions, the company has seen a marked increase in investment in this sector.  

Design trends 

employee wellbeing

Tétris Furniture Solutions explains that offices need to work harder to attract and inspire employees. Furniture’s role is integral to user experience. Photographer: Graeme Wyllie

While office furniture remains a significant investment at 92% of the overall spend on a project, the notable increase in the soft-furnishings sector underscores a clear shift towards “resimercial” design. In South Africa alone, Tétris Furniture Solutions has made a substantial investment of just under R120 million in the local furniture sector, constituting a significant driver of the country’s creative economy. 

However, the “resimercial” trend isn’t necessarily a given for all projects. Within individual projects, the ratio of conventional task pieces to soft furnishings differs. Nonetheless, the trend offers an opportunity for growth in creating positive experiences for people in the workplace.  

Wellbeing 

Catering for the wellbeing and overall comfort of employees undoubtedly fosters a more desirable company culture, and a company with a culture of consideration is more likely to attract and retain employees who are more excited about spending time in the office and with each other.  

“Improving the human experience means thinking holistically about employee wellbeing, their performance and the sustainability of the space,” says Davidson. “Simple design choices such as increasing natural light, providing window access, air-purification systems and ergonomic furniture contribute to a healthy environment that boosts performance.” 

Work patterns evolved 

Because new-normal work patterns are evolving, no one is sure whether a full return to the office is guaranteed, and hybridity could be here to stay.  

There is no clear indicator, for example, work-from-home hours are longer in countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA), and shorter in Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. 

Maximising space 

A multitude of factors, such as the length and ease of commutes, societal structures, company cultures, growing technology and industry needs, all shape the working structure of companies in the absence of lockdown restrictions. 

What is certain, however, is that the current hybrid work trend means offices are empty for a greater percentage of the time than before. This requires the reconsideration and maximisation of available space. 

Steven Fish, director of furniture solutions at the South African arm of Tétris, says: “Workspace, be it in an office, coffee shop, home or hotel, needs to adapt to and indulge a post-pandemic generation of workers. Users are more discerning, more demanding, and their expectations are high.  

Offices need to work harder to attract and inspire.  

 Furniture’s role is integral to user experience – its attributes must be human-centred, flexible and sustainable, adding meaningful value for makers and users alike.” 

 

Issue: Creating post-pandemic workspaces that are more appealing to employees. 

Solution: A residential/commercial concept delivers a more flexible and appealing workspace. 

 

For more information, contact Tétris: 

Tel: +27 10 500 9206 

Website: https://www.tetris-db.com/en/ 

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