Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index surveyed more than 30,000 people in 31 countries. According to its findings, leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wakeup call. So – what does that mean for a return to office strategy?

Returning to the office can’t mean going back in time to pre-pandemic spaces, we must rebuild company culture and rethink a post-pandemic future. If business leaders remain out of touch with their employees, the risk of employee turnover increases. To help keep employees engaged and give them something better to return to, leaders need to re-evaluate their return to office strategy and make employees feel safe, engaged, productive, and inspired.

Where are you in your journey?

As the transition to hybrid work becomes a reality, we’re outlining the three 3 R’s of returning to the office that every organization can use as a guide throughout their return to office strategy: reassess, retrofit, reimagine.

Reassess, retrofit, reimagine flowchart
This flowchart can help determine whether you should reassess, retrofit, or reimagine your workplace design.

Now that you know where you are in your journey, let’s walk through each phase and dive deeper into potential solutions.


Steelcase research shows that air quality, the adherence to safety protocols, and general cleanliness rank among the most important safety considerations when returning to the office. By following CDC guidance and implementing science-based protocols to create a safe work environment, these foundational decisions and starting points of your return to office strategy can help build employee trust.


Spaceti reservation system
Spaceti reservation system allows employees to book workplaces designated at safe distances. It also helps conduct contact tracing if a visitor or employee becomes ill.
Paramont Terminal
Paramont Terminal provides a tabletop solution for conducting rapid secession temperature checks on visitors prior to entry. It offers real-time face mask detection.
PurifySpaces air purification system
PurifySpaces air purification system kills airborne pathogens, including MS2, a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus. The germicidal UV light reaction chamber returns pure air into the environment.
RoomWizard reservation system
RoomWizard reservation system ensures you have a space reserved for your meetings. You can reserve impromptu meetings ad-hoc, provide equal access to and timely turnover of spaces, and manage space usage to make data-driven decisions.


People expect more autonomy and flexibility when they return to the office. Hybrid work is here to stay, and every organization will need to develop a point of view on what works for them. Organizations that want to meet evolving employee expectations but can’t complete a full renovation can still implement innovative solutions into existing spaces with minimal effort.


The SnapCab meeting pod
The SnapCab meeting pod with built-in sofa benches and table features a 43” 4K Display with Barco Click Share for private conversations or focused collaboration.
The Orangebox booth lounge
The Orangebox booth lounge lets you enjoy a comfortable posture away from your desk and meet for a casual conversation with a colleague.
focus room
This focus room with an Ology Height Adjustable Desk and Steelcase V.I.A Walls offers a quiet, enclosed place to focus on heads-down work or take a video call.
open collab picnic bench
The open collab picnic bench offers a semi-private nook in the open plan for a meeting. The mobile Microsoft Surface Hub 2S supports ad-hoc meetings.


Since 72% of people expect to return to a hybrid work environment, it’s critical to find new ways to effectively collaborate in the open and enclosed plan and create an equitable experience for distributed teams. It’s not just about returning to the office; it’s about returning to something better. Red Thread’s concept spaces integrate both technology and furniture and entice employees to return to a reimagined office.


connect rooms
These connect rooms are Microsoft and Zoom compatible and incorporate displays or support bring your own device. Connect rooms support four postures: standing, perching, seating, and lounge settings. Optimal acoustics and lighting create a professional one on one collaboration.
The pitch room
The pitch room was designed for an immersive sales pitch with a remote client by maximizing the visibility and interaction of all participants. The dual zone presentation space allows the presenter and team to be seen simultaneously through two dedicated cameras along with content sharing.
collaboration nest i
Instead of four wall conference rooms with capacity limits, this collaboration nest in the open office will allow for greater flexibility as the office space changes. Incorporating technology like 360-degree cameras at the center of a circular setting helps maintain eye contact and creates a great remote or in office experience.
The Broadcast Studio
The Broadcast Studio is for interactive presentations for 1 to many in an optimal environment with high resolution cameras and studio lighting. This immersive experience for remote participants includes an interactive whiteboard, chat, polling, and custom views of both the presenter and content.

To Learn More: Reimagined Office Design and Budget Guide

Our interactive guide includes additional 3D renderings, products, and pricing for an extensive array of innovative integrated space applications. You can explore 8 neighborhoods in a hybrid office that support different kinds of work, learn about both safe and collaborative workplace technology, and discover more furniture and retrofit solutions organized by space type.

The Reimagined Office Design & Budget Guide by Red Thread

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