The past year has proven to create a drastic change in how we live, work, and function day to day. Your corporate headquarters space is no different. With so many uncertainties in today’s world, one thing we know for sure – HQs must change and adapt trends to accommodate employee health, safety, well-being, and overall comfort levels to return to the workplace.

Here are the top five headquarters trends to watch in 2021:

  1. Designing a Hybrid Office

What’s the best way to retain and attract employees, even once the pandemic ends? Be adaptable and flexible to keep people happy. Implementing a hybrid workplace strategy where employees collaborate in the HQ office is important, all while giving them some wiggle room to work remotely, work in different spots in the office, or even work outside on a patio at your HQ facility. This gives them the chance to collaborate with their teams but also keeps flexible workspaces in mind. Going forward, it will all be about how you and your employees adapt to changing behaviors and flexible working environments to enhance the overall quality of your workplace culture and work-life balance.

  1. Keeping the Space Clean

Maintaining proper hygiene for health and safety protocols is top-of-mind when it comes to any physical environment, especially as your employees work in your HQ. Hand sanitizing stations and cleaning wipes should be installed at numerous key points within the space, and all high-touch areas should continue to be disinfected regularly to keep employees safe and aware that you are proactively cleaning – and caring about them. A sanitary environment will ease anxieties to make everyone more comfortable working around others in the HQ.

  1. Reintroducing Boundaries and Barriers

Many offices may still have open concept floor plans – and that’s okay. But you need to ensure that extra protective barriers set well social-distanced boundaries across your HQ office space. Design elements like curtains, walls, and shields can help with this, and moving seating around so people are not too close together will also help with social distancing and give employees a sense of safety being back working with others.

  1. Integrating Touchless Technology

Wireless systems for presentations and video conferencing abilities are crucial moving back into working in an HQ environment. The less touchpoints in shared spaces, the better. This also applies to doorways, elevators, turnstiles, and any guest service areas. Voice activation and artificial intelligence can assist with these improvements. Since everyone must use the same spaces and the same technology, utilizing more current, innovative hands-free tech is worth the investment.

  1. Boosting Air Quality & Smart Materials

Promoting better indoor air quality through mold-resistant and antimicrobial materials such as copper will keep your staff healthier all year long. HVAC systems should be updated to improve overall air circulation and filtration. Bringing outdoor elements inside through innovative designs such as living walls also improve air quality and inspire visual connectivity between humans and nature, which will be a breath of fresh air in scenery within the HQ space.

Want more? Stay tuned for next week’s insights on the Top 5 Retail Design Trends to watch in 2021!