New Normal
New Normal
Together in the office

New Normal

Many companies offer their employees the option of a working from home. The pandemic has accelerated many things to an extreme. We have learned that working from home is quite feasible, not all travel is necessary and digital forms of meeting can be alternatives. At the same time, many organisations are discussing the consequences of remote working and the new role of the office.

We believe that in future…

…working from home will remain an option
…offices will have more space for meeting, teamwork and video conferencing
…the need for assigned workplaces will decrease (working from home, desk sharing)
…the desire for distance and screening at the workplace will increase

We need to meet again – why the future of work cannot be completely remote

By “going” to work, we acknowledge that life is back, that our clients and partners are also back at work, and that it is time to make decisions again and to move forward with new projects.

Working from home can be stressful. Social contacts are missing, exchange and teamwork are more difficult. In addition, the workplace is often not ergonomic and lacks the technical equipment that is taken for granted in the office. Concentrated work can be difficult in a family environment and without a place to retreat. A recent Forsa survey shows that 80 % miss the personal cooperation with colleagues, 40 % the team and project work on site 30 % the contact with the customer in the home office.

The office as a place of reference brings people together

The office must be a place where people like to come together because they meet their colleagues there, with whom they work well and have fun.

The office is an important place for:

  • Communication and exchange
  • Project- and teamwork
  • Corporate Culture
  • Leadership
  • Onboarding of new employees
  • Staff retention

Safe and self-determined: Working in new structures

Digitization and networking give employees a high degree of flexibility in choosing their place of work. At the same time, this change is currently giving the office a new role more than ever. The more structures and securities dissolve, the more important the office becomes as a reference point and meeting place. The increase in communication via all available channels is strengthening the urge for physical meetings and direct face-to-face exchange.

In this context, companies should make use of the valuable learning experiences of the past weeks. How have managers and employees experienced the changes? Which solutions have proven to be good? How has the company changed?

The aim is to use the experience gained to design working environments in a targeted manner so that they become a competitive advantage on several levels.

Changed space requirements – Change in the office – New structures

The spaces are being redistributed. Classic office spaces are becoming smaller, spaces for interaction larger. The new requirements and needs are also changing the offices. The need for storage space is decreasing, the number of fixed workplaces is decreasing, open floor areas are being structured into smaller units and the importance of other areas for communication, retreat and teamwork is increasing. With these exemplary space designs, we show possible changes and adaptations of use in the space.

  • Change of the furniture or its arrangement
  • Smaller units and stronger structuring
  • More space for collaboration and teamwork
  • More flexibility
  • Screening at the workplace

Product concepts for the New Normal – together in the office

ophelis offers comprehensive product concepts for the design of future-proof working environments. From different visual and acoustic screens, ergonomic workstations, product concepts for agile project work to the design of meeting points for informal communication, of retreats and lounge areas. Get in touch with us.

ophelis nest: flexible screening

The desire for screening and distance, concentrated individual work, video calls, the temporary need for complete privacy or the exchange with colleagues alternate in everyday work. ophelis nest, created by the Berlin design studio Hidden Fortress, is based on the basic idea that users can flexibly determine the degree of visual and acoustic screening at the workplace.

The structure of nest consists of only two components: absorber and corner module. They can be assembled and disassembled without tools. The absorbers can be pulled out by the user without any effort up to 15 cm above the edge of the table to achieve a shielding from the neighbour. For even more peace and quiet, nest offers the possibility to put up an acoustically effective roof, which can be varied in height and degree of screening.

paravento XL: Divide rooms effectively

Structuring rooms, screening off areas, creating places of retreat: With paravento and paravento hub, a wide variety of areas can be created within office landscapes. New Normal brings with it the desire for smaller units and greater zoning. The free-standing wall paravento XL opens up new possibilities to meet this demand.

paravento XL – wall-mounted or free-standing as L- or T-linked system – can be configured to meet different requirements. paravento XL is remarkably acoustically effective and can also be used as a partition between work tables. The system complements the paravento product range.

Effective protection: Antimicrobial substances for paravento

For the desired shielding at the workplace, paravento offers a large textile collection including antimicrobial textiles. Shielding can also be implemented subsequently. The systems also take into account the sound insulation required in open structures – both internally and externally.

paravento supports companies in properly complying with the distance rules newly defined within the framework of the SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety regulations (as of August 2020). Workplaces should be arranged in such a way that a distance of at least 1.5 m can be maintained between the employees present. The following measures in particular can be implemented for this purpose:

  • changing the furniture or its arrangement
  • use of other areas and rooms suitable for the activity

In addition, a separation of breathing areas between employees should be achieved and shielding at the workplace should be ensured. The upper edge of the separation must end at least 1.5 m above the floor for seated workplaces, which corresponds to shielding at 3 file heights, for standing workplaces at least 2 m above the floor.

ophelis deem: creativity and exchange within the team

Focus on mobility and flexibility: ophelis deem is a set of work furniture that supports creative, agile project work. Highly flexible and light, it encourages a playful approach to the various elements and thus makes it possible to turn familiar structures upside down and take in new perspectives.

Electromotive sitting/standing desks

Electromotive sitting/standing desks in various designs with a variety of electrification and docking options enable the user to react to changing tasks and requirements at any time.

ophelis offers a comprehensive range of electromotive sitting/standing tables. The CL series has been given a facelift with product improvements and is now being launched as the CL2 series.

ophelis sum and ophelis docks: Meeting places and retreats

In the future, offices, as a space for meeting and collaboration, will complement a more self-determined, flexible combination with other places of work. ophelis sum, as a modular seating furniture for creating islands within a room, offers a place for informal communication, for concentrated exchange and for individual retreat.

Based on three core elements – base, partition and cushions – seating groups and versatile cabins can be configured in different sizes. This creates open or rather closed communication areas, for teams and project groups as well as for focused individual work.

Individual and variable: ophelis docks

The world of work is changing rapidly – the Covid 19 pandemic has further accelerated this change. With docks, ophelis provides the answer to the many new requirements. From the large number of modules, individual configurations can be created, from waiting and lounge zones to acoustically and visually screened communication areas in open space to temporary workplaces for sitting and standing.

Stand-alone sitting/standing conference tables

Offices that are well-positioned for the current challenges are characterized by the fact that they can be used flexibly according to the specific task and situation. Electromotive sitting/standing desks in various designs with a variety of electrification and docking options enable the user to react to changing tasks and requirements at any time.

Independent of the power source: Stand-alone sitting/standing conference tables.

ophelis is developing the project #mobil, – the idea of making tables independent of power outlets and using rechargeable batteries to ensure the energy supply. The result is a mobile, self-sufficient sitting/standing/meeting table. An inserted rechargeable battery makes the table independent of the power outlet. More information is available at: Stand-alone sitting/standing conference tables

Office landscapes should meet these requirements

Diversity in the workplace

Companies must develop a diverse workplace strategy that takes into account the different needs of employees and offers them the optimal environment depending on their activities, mood and personality. For example, individual security requirements can be met while increasing employee motivation and concentration. Switching between areas for teamwork, informal exchange and concentrated individual work must be fluent, uncomplicated and possible at any time.

High flexibility

Static facilities are replaced by flexible solutions that can be adjusted by the employees themselves – according to the respective distance specifications, the requirements of their work and their personal situation.

Retreat areas are becoming increasingly important

The need for areas for concentrated work is growing. On the one hand, they offer a calm counterbalance for all those employees who do not have an optimal working atmosphere at home. On the other hand, they enable video conferences, for example, without disturbing other employees.

Conference rooms are becoming less important

In the foreseeable future, conference rooms will be used significantly less, given the distance requirements and the sense of security that many employees have. Instead, what is needed are open areas for collaboration and exchange, which also offer the opportunity to gain privacy. These areas need to be efficiently equipped in order to be used optimally. These include easily accessible power sources and tools for creative collaboration, such as whiteboards and multimedia integration.