According to an article written in The Bizz Journal, after the pandemic, the biggest challenge regarding design and architecture for workplaces has everything to do with work ambiance and ecosystem. In some cases, some employees feel disconnected or anxious when they have to work from home. But a study points out another interesting situation:”MIT Sloan Management Review recently reported, “Many employees have become hesitant to incur the personal costs of going to the office if they think they’ll have exactly the same interactions that could have been done virtually.”
Offices will never stop being the center of the work ecosystem, in order to face challenges imposed by the pandemic, companies are starting to think about how to create different workspaces. “Creating places that really are a value-add for employees”.
Let’s review 4 steps that the article suggest companies can take to optimize resources and make the office less like a mandate:
Connection: Workplaces are a key space because it’s the space where the relationship between employee and company is formed and fostered. Spaces should promote creativity, gathering and also privacy. “For companies, that means offering workers a dynamic mix of spaces that allow them to connect with others. Brainstorming with a team. Meeting one-on-one with a manager or mentor. Having serendipitous (but impactful) encounters with people from other departments”.
Hoteling: since virtual work is more and more common, companies are embracing this ‘hoteling’ concept, which consists of ”allowing employees to reserve common spaces throughout the office rather than using permanently assigned spaces”. But it is also very important to add levels of employee personalization. “The Journal of Corporate Real Estate reported in a review of the existing literature on this topic, that a full 73% of workers said that personalizing their space to their individual work style would make them more productive and more satisfied”.
Healthy and energizing workplaces: environments impact employee health and productivity. “ According to the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report, 87% of workers said they wanted their company to offer healthier workplace options, from ergonomic seating and wellness rooms to healthy lunch options and company fitness benefits”.
Rich environments: smart organizations invest in other amenities that can enrich the environment such as; fitness, coffee bars and others.”While high-quality amenities remain important to employees, they are also seeking events and experiences that provide opportunities to engage with one another, have fun and build community. There is an increasing need for personal connectivity, and casual get-togethers can provide that — ultimately making the office a place where employees are eager to be”
At MKThink we are also looking at how work environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how urban spaces can be designed considering factors such as sustainability, wellbeing and safety.
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