The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the way we see the office. For a glimpse into the way it is evolving to meet the challenges to come we take a virtual tour of THE CORE by Bene, an innovative office prototype for working with and after COVID
During the pandemic, offices have had to be remodelled and adjusted with all the necessary precautions to help people feel safe and still be productive. One of the biggest conundrums for the workplace sector is how this will reshape the workplace, from how it needs to work to make it through the crisis and even more importantly, how it will work after the pandemic has passed. In a so far unique example of how the post-COVID office landscape could look is THE CORE by Bene, a global office concept offering visitors a living guide to the changing workplace.
Bene is an international expert for the design and furnishing of modern office and working environments. It aims to introduce innovative concepts, inspiring offices, and high-quality design, with the development and production of solutions for all company sizes – from one-person companies to SMEs and global corporations.
Explains Patricia Möckesch, Product & Innovation Ambassador at Bene: “We define the office as a living space, and our concepts, products and services turn this philosophy into a reality. Since 1790 our brand has been synonymous with creating inspiring offices and always ahead of time. We have always been involved with new ways of working and the future of work. One of the results of our continuous research is the new office concept THE CORE by Bene.”
The idea behind THE CORE is to view the office as the physical “core” of an organisation, the heart of a company, a place where people and ideas come together, creating opportunities for spontaneous social interaction and collaborative and agile work, and where shared management and fluid leadership can evolve.
Bene summarises its observations, as well as the challenges and opportunities in relation to the future of the working world, in three key themes:
The Obvious: During the pandemic, offices need to be remodelled and adjusted to meet necessary safety measures so that people feel safe and can be productive. Concepts need to be developed to fulfil these needs.
The Higher Pace: The way we work is constantly evolving, many aspects of which, such as new styles of leadership and digitalisation, have been significantly accelerated by the pandemic. Collaboration, interaction and the purpose of work are now at the forefront of the discussion and will gain greater importance in the post-pandemic world of work.
The Big Stress Test: We are currently experiencing the biggest stress test for remote work and the home office. Even the organisations that were reticent have seen how agile working can be utilised for the benefit of the business and employees. However, the workspace is still a vital part of the office landscape; from face-to-face exchanges with colleagues, facilitating idea generation, as well as developing and maintaining strong corporate cultures.
“Meeting and communication zones are becoming increasingly important in the office,” says Michael Fried, Executive Board member for Sales, Marketing & Innovation at Bene. “The office gives space for ideas and opportunities. It becomes a motor for innovation. The focus is more on teamwork and less on individual work.”
Through the enormous wave of digitisation it brought about, COVID-19 has accelerated this process even more and has significantly changed the requirements we place on a modern office. This office concept is intended to meet these current and future requirements.
THE CORE can be experienced at the Bene showroom in Frankfurt; offering a live, immersive and experiential space to study how our places of work have adapted and how they will further evolve after the pandemic. Offering a mix between open spatial structure and shielded areas, THE CORE manages the balancing act between distance and teamwork so that people feel comfortable and can work creatively at the same time.
Hygiene concepts and sensor technology: Innovative technologies and smart room solutions ensure safety throughout the premises. This starts at the check-in area with temperature screening and registering for ‘track and trace’, followed with contact-free hand disinfection. The system will then give a green light to lead the visitor to a prior selected and cleaned workstation.
As Möckesch is at pains to clarify, safety and sanitisation should not result in clinical surroundings.
“An office environment can still feel homely and comfortable, despite the implementation of additional hygiene measures, through the careful selection of colours and materials for the office design scheme.”