The pandemic is (sorta) over, but it plays a huge part in headquarters design for 2022 and beyond: flexibility and comfort are key. Because employees sent to work from home were seamlessly able to undock their laptops and plug in, they had flexibility like never before. Now, in this very different job market you need to stand out to get top talent. And your completion is no longer only in your backyard since employees can work from anywhere.
The pandemic didn’t create the challenges of figuring out hybrid work for employers — it already existed — but it certainly accelerated the need to better synchronize the how, where and when of working in AND out of the building.
Get all the details on achieving the ultimate, future-proofed HQ for in office, remote and hybrid in this 12-page guide.
Gartner’s recent Future of Work study found that:
- Human-centric work design — featuring flexible work experiences, intentional collaboration opportunities and empathetic management — can increase employee performance by as much as 54%.
- 55% of employees are high performers when provided radical flexibility over where, when and with whom they work versus 36% of those working 9 to 5 in the office.
Whether your workers are completely remote, hybrid or 100% in the office, making the workplace more alluring, comfortable, and flexible is a key design strategy. (Architectural Record)
Financial institution leaders who are ahead of the curve know that hybrid work is here to stay. Before you take the next step to remodel your HQ, check out these remodeling ideas to future-proof your space.
➡️In office ➡️Hybrid
Flexible workstations are the perfect multi-use spaces for bank and credit union HQs. And multi-use is nearly synonymous with future-proof. Flexible workstations are easily removable or relocated. Another benefit of flexible workstations is that one workstation can be used by multiple hybrid-schedule workers. When you need to scale up or down to accommodate a fluctuating headcount, this is a real gamechanger.
Your HQ will have collab workspaces that are more touchdown and agile – with reconfigurable, comfy, homelike benches and booths — where employees can launch into tasks quickly from their laptops with internet connectivity — probably with their feet up. Think furniture rather than fixtures and flexible dividers instead of walls – things that can be modified without changing the physical footprint.
IT and Data
➡️In office ➡️Hybrid ➡️Remote
Technology will always change with or without a big catalyst like a pandemic. Plan for that change by incorporating extra space for power and data. It’s much easier and less expensive to add in some redundancy during a remodel or new build than to do it as a one-off project. Imagine making the investment in the latest tech after a remodel, only to find out that you need to add in power and data to get it up and running. Read how GECU incorporated a massive IT infrastructure into their headquarters in Texas.
Digital Signage + Video Conferencing Tech
➡️In office ➡️Hybrid ➡️Remote
Digital signage is not just for branches. It’s a great tool for the HQ, too, giving you a means to showcase milestones, encourage employee participation, share values and highlight staff achievements. Content can easily be changed out without significant costs, offering flexibility for messaging. Better than the intranet or an email, it gives you the opportunity to show videos: employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text.
Those same digital screens can be used for video conferencing tech when meeting with remote workers. With the right tech, remote and in-person employees are all shown on a panoramic screen that indicates who is speaking. Don't forget the whiteboard: it would be digital and visible to all.
Be Trendy & Smart but Brand-Forward
If you are doing a remodel and want to bring a modern feel to your HQ, it’s likely there are some design items that are making it seem dated. Aim to create a timeless design with permanent features of your interior — weave your branding colors and artistic elements in through flooring, wall coverings and art. Read how Profinium Bank used wood, stone and glass to tie into its history and local community.
Save the trendy decisions for features that are easily and inexpensively swapped out. Think lighting, furniture, etc. This will help stretch your current HQ and make your future HQ remodeling projects much easier. Some current design trends include:
- Lighter colors with a mixture of grays, greens and neutrals. Light wood looks mixed with pops of color on flooring and walls is a popular option in an office environment that can help employees feel more cheerful and positive.
- More natural lighting.
- Wallcoverings — any pattern, texture or color on a wall can add warmth and dimension to any space. Plus, these hard surfaces can be more easily cleaned and maintained.
Unused Space? Outdoor Space?
➡️ In office
Think about configuring unused space in your office to be used after hours, and not just by the company. Invite the community in for local events. Incorporate branded elements to make it unique and not something employees can recreate at home.
In milder climates, make outdoor space an extension to your office space using Wi-Fi connectivity. A covered space with nature views can be used for both work- and non-work-related activities.
Another Benefit – Attracting the Best Talent
➡️ In office ➡️Hybrid ➡️ Remote
Not only will future-proofing your HQ ensure that your staff can feel productive, connected and comfortable, it will also help you to find and keep employees that want to stay. Hiring new employees can be costly—more than $4,000 per new hire, according to the Society of Human Resource Management. Training an employee, on the other hand, costs U.S. companies an average of $1,111 per year, according to the 2020 Industry Training Report.
Want more juicy details on planning for your HQ transformation? Find a quiet spot and relax because we’ve got them all in our guide, HQ: Journey to Zen.