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The changing face of the contemporary office

With so much uncertainty in the current climate, one thing is for certain; the myriad of opinions, thought pieces, ideas and assumptions on what the future of business and in particular, the day to day business environment looks like, leads me to believe the changing face of the contemporary office is unavoidable.

With household names such as Barclays and NEXT assessing openly the need for expensively managed office spaces, it begs the question, what is the future of the physical office space and how can businesses enable their staff to return to their office environment safely and responsibly?


What will the new normal look like?

For us at Henson Franklyn, we’re an ideas business, which thrives on the thoughts, solutions and insights of those around us. For us, the workplace isn’t somewhere we trudge to and from, nor is it an environment used to monitor our staff. It’s the centre of our collaborative culture and not just a built, physical environment.

Like many, we are considering the step changes that will need to be implemented in light of COVID-19. Ensuring the safety of those around us against the ‘invisible’ enemy is now top of everyone’s agenda, not least our own.

Our browsers, social media channels and emails are brimming with the ‘sneeze guard’ approach; demarked areas, hazard tape, screens and sanitiser, but will these retrofitted safety measures really enhance and engage our employees? Will they offer us the canvas to be creative or restrict our ability to collaborate and interact with our colleagues?

These are all questions that businesses far and wide are asking themselves, not only do we need a ‘physical’ office space but what does that space look and feel like when we return to work?

Like so many, our ability to work remotely is certainly something that has been tested and improved during the ‘lockdown’ but from a personal point of view, it is not the work that is missing, it is the coming together of minds, finding solutions to briefs, the social interaction of a thriving working environment, that’s what’s missing…

It would be premature to assume and guess at the ‘new normal’ and what that might look like for not only Henson Franklyn, but UK businesses as a whole. What I do know however, is that people are social creatures, it’s why we have spent the last 30 years providing the stage for global brands to showcase themselves and their products in front of their customers, it’s why the event industry itself is worth circa £70billion in the UK.

Finding a solution

There is undoubtedly change a foot, a surge in the reliance of technology to communicate with one another but will the reliance on the virtual world ever really replace the humour and satisfaction of face to face collaboration?

As a business built on finding solutions and conjuring bespoke designs, a measured approach to what we are able to offer our customers within the newly envisaged working spaces is imperative.

How does the workplace become easily accessible? What materials do we specify and suggest? How do we not only protect our employees but also nourish sociability and collaboration within these spaces? How does technology enhance and/or restrict our key customer offerings?

Finding individual solutions to our clients’ needs is what we do. In the new tomorrow, our needs will be different, our wants altered and our goals reimaged, it’s for the creatives, the thinkers, the problem solvers to help make those ideas a reality and breathe new life into not only our offices spaces, but temporary event spaces as well.

How can Henson Franklyn help you?

  • If you’re looking at your office space differently and starting to understand what that will look like when we return, why not get in touch to discuss a range of bespoke solutions?
  • This is ideal for those not looking to turn their offices into a series of shower cubicles!
  • We can provide a tailored, thoughtful design to ensure the safety of those around you and also enhance and protect your brand to!
  • Get in touch, call us on 01427 718178 or email


   Jonny Croston, Sales and Marketing Manager