M Moser’s holistic workplace specialists examine the latest business and real estate challenges, exploring new design concepts and answering key questions about the region’s unfolding nature of work.
As businesses across Southeast Asia return to the workplace and recognise there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Having a flexible, functional platform with a clear workplace strategy is critical to supporting health and wellness, motivating future progress, and reimagining normality.
Our recent global workplace survey indicates that a large proportion of employees prefers a hybrid approach. They are looking for a balance between time spent in the corporate office and time working from home. To support organisations looking to reconsider their work environment – from space planning and refurbishment to repurposing or relocation – our experts in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines have reimagined the future workplace using evidence based metrics and learnings.
The result uncovers a major shift in focus towards health and wellbeing as the anchor of workplace design. This means decisions are driven by users and the required behaviours influencing individual, team, and business success.
Understanding the purpose of employee activities and their desired outcome will play a crucial role in creating a “blended workplace experience”. With behaviour based design as its guiding principle, the blended workplace carefully balances individual needs with engaging and meaningful spaces. It also supplements the home as an additional work setting.
There is a strong likelihood that knowledge workers will continue to adopt some level of remote working. Considering this, the future office will be much more adaptable to support different forms of individual work and collaborative needs. It will not longer require staff to make use of their facilities within one physical space “out of necessity”.
These changes will strongly influence both the design and footprint of workspaces, particularly factors such as:
Existing lease arrangements will be scrutinised to evaluate future demands with a flexible commercial model in mind. The office will become a distinct destination and experience. It will serve as a hub to unite people, evoke culture, and bring corporate mission to life.
Combining the physical, digital and social inclusion aspects of work can enable seamless integration across all platforms, regardless of location. Reigniting individual and collective business purpose, the “blended workplace” provides flexible opportunity to support the ways in which people work best.
Physical safety remains of paramount importance during such challenging times. However, the pandemic has also brought psychological health to the fore. The future office will demand a people-first approach.
Spaces will be designed to inspire creativity while supporting physical, mental and social wellbeing. This approach will have a tremendous impact in shaping the financial and reputation health of the organisation.
As workplace designers, we must provide a considered and accessible workspace for all. This will enable the ongoing, inclusive transformation of place, people and culture. Companies that provide a variety of settings based on type of work, team and individual needs will experience long-lasting benefits. Building inclusivity into the fabric of the workplace can support and maintain a universal approach to design.
We expect to see increased demand for sustainable buildings and working communities that promote healthy lifestyles. Priorities will focus on improving indoor air quality and natural material standards. This will also extend to providing greater access to local amenities and natural outdoor spaces.
Balancing business performance and health has always been critical. At this time of global disruption, organisations must be proactive in reshaping the agenda.
Research demonstrates that a shared vision and sense of purpose can drive greater organisational engagement and effectiveness. It’s time to re-think the workplace to address an ongoing shift in the “new normal”. We must embrace every opportunity to innovate the future.
Regional Director - Stephen Lyon
Director, Design International - Simon Paddison
Director – Matthew Burke
Associate Director, Client Services – Jet Brillantes
Associate Director, Strategy & Change – Bhavna Singhal