Offices in Australia are undergoing a transformation as workers return to their workplaces after the pandemic-induced lockdowns. According to Jenny Folley, founder and CEO of @WORKSPACES, businesses across the country are introducing new trends to their workplaces to ensure their staff enjoy coming back to the office and have lots of fun.
“COVID has changed the way many people experience their working life at the office,” Folley said. “Offices are no longer just places of work, they have become comfort zones with break-out areas, fully stocked kitchens, pet havens, and even places to hold extracurricular learning activities such as cooking, dancing, and language classes.”
@WORKSPACES operates some of Australia’s leading coworking and private offices and is continuing to open new offices across the country in suburban areas. These include office hubs which offer micro offices for businesses seeking smaller agile office working spaces for staff supported by business services and other facilities including instant IT, meeting rooms, reception areas, kitchens, and more.
“Thanks to COVID, we are accelerating our expansion plans and fast-tracking the build of new @WORKSPACES sites across the country,” Folley said. “Aussies are happy to go back to work provided work is near home and the workplace is enjoyable. As a result, we are seeing some amazing office trends emerging as workers return to the office. Offices are no longer just places of work, they are community and social hubs where people can enjoy life and have fun. They are becoming comfort zones where staff can relax, learn, socialise and unwind.”
One of the biggest trends sweeping offices in Australia is a move towards fully stocked kitchens. “Aussie workers have developed a penchant for stocked kitchens with a broad array of pantry and refrigerated foods and drinks,” Folley said. “Workers like being able to make their own lunch and experiment with different coffees and teas. While working from home, they lived with a refrigerator nearby so they want to continue this convenience while working at the office. To compete, businesses are having to kick their kitchens up a level. Many office spaces now have pantry items, breakfast cereals, fresh bread and pastries delivered daily, an assortment of sandwich fillings and a great coffee machine with an extensive range of blends and teas on offer too.”
Another trend sweeping offices is the desire for comfortable lounge areas. Workers want to be able to take breaks and lounge around in comfort in an area away from their desk. “Break out areas have evolved to become lounge areas where staff can sit back in comfort, relax, watch TV, read a book, and catch up with work friends,” Folley added.
Physical games are making a comeback across the office. Workers are enjoying playing games such as cards, Cluedo, Trivial Pursuit, and Rummikub. “Some businesses are even having Friday games afternoons where staff can participate in games tournaments as teams. Staff are opting to play games of a lunch time rather than go out to the shops. With interest rates and price rises hitting people’s wallets, staying in the office is a cheap way to enjoy your lunch hour,” Folley said.
Cooking classes are also trending in offices across Australia. “Many people have asked for cooking lessons at lunchtime so they can learn a new skill while at work,” Folley said. “Some businesses are holding cooking classes every month and bringing in cooking instructors to teach workers how to cook pizza, pasta, Thai, Japanese, etc. It is a fantastic idea and one that not only helps staff to learn new skills, but it also brings people together to have fun.”
According to Folley, workplaces are now much more than just places of work, they are social hubs where people can enjoy themselves, develop friendships, and have fun.