The pandemic has had a huge impact on workplaces, with many of us having made the shift from office-centric working to working entirely from home. Whilst the benefits of this new way of working are clear, including no time lost to commuting and more flexibility and freedom for the individual, many believe that there is no substitute for the collaboration and relationship building that a face-to-face working environment facilitates.
A 'hybrid' way of working therefore seems inevitable, allowing employees to work partly from home and partly from the office. This could lead to a trend in businesses seeking smaller workplaces with a flexible layout, such as co-working spaces like Paddington Works, designed by Threefold Architects.
This space includes a mixture of private and shared spaces, which are organised into 'clusters' to encourage communities to form both professionally and informally, attempting to maximise the social benefits of the office environment whilst keeping things flexible.
Importantly, wellness is central to many of the design features: the building has an anti-viral air filtration system, contactless hand sanitisers and anti-microbial fittings, as well as an adaptive lighting system designed to align with the body's internal clock. These aspects of the design make it particularly appealing in light of the current health crisis.
Wellness focused design for the built environment isn't a new concept, but in a post-Covid world where the boundary between the office and home has become blurred, work spaces designed with wellness in mind make the commute well worth it.
At a time when many co-working offices are trying to adjust to the changes in work habits prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, this project offers a model for the future of shared workspaces.