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What Does The Workspace Look Like?

What Does The Workspace Look Like?

Over the course of the pandemic, employees have been working from their own space in their homes. While an increasing number of employees are ready to get out of the house and back into the office, they do not seek the same things from the physical office space as they had previously. This new work-from-home environment has created new employee perspectives that have resulted in new needs.  In order to have a meaningful return to office, employers must consider these new needs and redesign their spaces from what they looked like pre-pandemic. 

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Changing Employee Needs

Employees are feeling stagnant working from home. According to Betterup, over 50% of employees say that they have felt “stuck” this past year. Working from home has become monotonous and there is little to no room for socialization and collaboration. Each day feels the same as the last and the purpose they once felt for their work is beginning to fade. Returning to the office offers a break in the stagnation that many are experiencing.

Employees want to feel connected and engaged in the office now more than ever before. This means that they do not want to commute to the office just to sit in their individual workspace, complete their work and then leave at the end of the day. Offering variety in your physical space is key to instilling a stronger sense of meaning to their work that may have dwindled over the course of working from home. 

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Bringing Value to The Physical Space

Mixing things up in the office space comes from considering all aspects of your workspace and how you can best utilize them to provide employees options for variety throughout the workday. The first and most important item to consider is how you are breaking up your office. In order to offer employees what they are seeking, it is essential to go beyond just individual work spaces. Incorporate spaces that are flexible and allow for collaboration, concentration, and even relaxation. The exact way each company chooses to break up their office space may look different, but there is one important question to consider when designing your space: What would my employee benefit from the most?

Utilizing outdoor spaces is another way to switch up the traditional office space. Christina Piper, Vice President of Workplace Design at JLL says that the biggest change emerging from the pandemic is the shift towards indoor-outdoor workplaces, when weather permits.These outdoor spaces could include patios or balconies that can be used for gatherings, pop-up meeting, or simply providing a space for employees to mentally refresh with fresh air. Being outside can help improve employees’ physical and mental health, allowing for greater concentration and productivity during the day. 

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Prioritize Employee Mental Well-being

Planning your return to the office after a long stretch of working from home is also a great time to reconsider the amenities offered to employees. Fitness centers are a common amenity among companies, but now many are choosing to expand upon this promotion of physical well-being to include amenities that help mental well-being as well. 

Lori Louis, Global Product Owner at JLL says, “Right now, we’re helping organizations move away from just physical wellness to a greater focus on emotional, mental and cognitive wellness.” One option that companies are moving towards is color therapy rooms. Blue light specifically can help promote both focus and creativity. Offering employees opportunities for mental breaks can allow them to be more productive, and energized throughout their day while offering them something they may not be able to experience in an at-home environment. 

The Post-COVID workspace is going to look different, but a change in the design of your office space can greatly and positively impact employee productivity, and purpose. 

Ready to find the space to create an office that has everything you and your employees need for meaningful work and collaboration? Contact us to learn about our available spaces.

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It is common to face challenges in the workplace from time to time, whether that is working on a tight deadline or finding a new way to approach a problem. When the physical workspace is removed from the equation, the current challenges remain and a new, unique set of challenges arise. These obstacles not only affect productivity, but also employee well-being in the long term. Understanding the challenges of remote work can help you identify how to create a return to office plan that will resolve the problems employees are facing.

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Office Environment Benefits

At the beginning of the pandemic many companies had no choice but to work from home. Now, as things open up, many employers are determining their next steps. While several companies have found through this pandemic that it is possible to work from home, it may not be the most beneficial for their employees in the long run. Understanding the value the office space provides can help to create a more successful working environment for all.

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