As we say goodbye to 2020, I think we can all agree that it has been one of the most challenging and disruptive years for businesses in living memory. Thankfully, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with the approval and roll out of the new vaccines, so fingers crossed 2021 will be a more positive year… However, it is very unlikely certain practices will return to the ‘old way’ of doing things. In regard to working environments, some of the changes implemented during the pandemic will be here to stay at least for the foreseeable future. Looking after the safety and wellbeing of your workforce, and pandemic-proofing your business will be a key component for workplaces going forward.
But what does this mean for commercial flooring?
Design for Practicality
Ensuring that your workplace is COVID-secure and pandemic-proof for the future will be one of the biggest challenges facing businesses during 2021. In order to adhere to the rules and regulations, businesses will need to implement practical solutions to the interior design of their workplace. This, of course, could mean rearranging furniture and repositioning desks, but will also require clever thinking to reduce the footfall for employees and keep them at a safe distance from each other.
Flooring can play an important roll in this, as has already been shown during the pandemic with the use of floor signs and stickers. This trend is likely to continue as more ideas for practical flooring come to market. At least for now function over form will take precedence with a focus on safety and wellbeing. Over time this will evolve as new practical designs come to the forefront.
Bold Colours, Contrasting Colours and Striking Patterns
Colours play a big part in our everyday life, providing information, directions and guidance to help us navigate the world. This includes traffic lights, road signs, road markings, shop signs, plus many more examples. The use of colours and patterns can also be applied to flooring to help create boundaries, borders and to separate areas for different functions, and we expect to see a lot more of this in 2021.
Using contrasting colours is a great way to accentuate walkways, zones and areas, which will help to control staff footfall and keep everyone safe. Bold colours and striking patterns will also help to inject some fun and style into your flooring, so be prepared to see some daring flooring designs during the next few months.
If there’s one thing we’ve all learnt during 2020, it’s that rules and guidance can change at the drop of a hat, and we need to all be prepared for this. There have been many articles written on ‘the importance of flexible office space’ during the pandemic, and this shift in the office environment is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Workplaces need to be flexible enough that are not ‘caught out’ again should another pandemic (or similar catastrophe) strike.
‘Flexible Office Space’ is a rather loose term covering a range of factors from the flexible working hours and location, to flexible leasing and modular fittings. With regard to flooring we expect to see a lot more modular options being used including carpet tiles and vinyl flooring. Modular flooring will provide flexibility to allow for floor signs to be added as and when needed, and change position of walkways and zones. This will allow businesses to react much quicker and more effectively to changes in rules and regulations.
The truth is none of us are sure what 2021 will bring. We can only hope that it is a less challenging and more productive year for the health, wellbeing, and economy of our nation. But on thing is for sure… things will not be going back to how they used to be. Going forward businesses will need to be agile and flexible, able to adjust to changes, whilst keeping the workforce happy, safe, and healthy.
Want to COVID-Proof your workplace, or start getting creative with your office environment? Speak to our team to get some ideas and to find out how we can help your business take that first step.