We have had a powerful reminder over the last year and a half of the value and importance of the office. The office is so much more than a building you show up to for work. An office is a place of community and connection. A place where we get together to solve problems, collaborate, and socialize. This period of working from home has shown us just how much we crave these connections and interactions with our teammates. The future workplace needs to work harder to meet the needs of workers. It’s time to reimage the post-COVID office design.
Attract and Retain Talent with Modern Post-COVID Office Design
Workplace design has a direct impact on an organization’s ability to attract and retain top talent in your organization. In the current hiring environment, the power is in the hands of the employees. Employees are in high demand, and they are choosing company’s that prioritize a great working environment, culture, and modern designs.
The future workplace needs to work harder to meet the needs of workers.
Millennials, more than any other generation, view the office environment as a top priority. Millennials currently makeup about 38% of the workforce and are on pace to make up 75% by 2025. This generation is quickly becoming the predominant working force of our country. They often choose a company based on the working environment and will sacrifice higher salaries or benefits in exchange for an environment that inspires them.
A recent Gallup report on the state of the American workforce supports this shift and in fact, states that organizations have to make a change now. “They have to adapt to the needs of the modern workforce, or they will find themselves struggling to attract and keep great employees and therefore customers.”
Demonstrate a Focus on Personal Well-Being
The continued threat of the coronavirus is impacting the return to work strategies for employers. But it is also bringing an increased focus on health, safety, and wellness in the office. As we are returning to work in increasing numbers, protective methods like social distancing furniture are needed to ensure the best and safest environment for employees. The good news? A well-thought-out post-COVID office design can decrease the rate of sickness, and improve mental functions, outlook, and mood.
Organizations have to adapt to the needs of the modern workforce, or they will find themselves struggling to attract and keep great employees and therefore customers.
When you start with a focus on health, personal wellness follows closely behind. In a normal workday, we spend up to 8 hours mostly sedentary. But the human body is meant to be in motion. When we are at a stationary desk for 40 hours a week, our muscles weaken, circulation is compromised, and there is an increase in pressure placed on the vertebrae. Implementing adjustable height desks in your modern office means your organization is taking a preventive step toward reducing employee discomfort and injuries.
Creating a healthier more productive office doesn’t have to mean a complete redesign. Consider adding greenery to your office space if you’re searching for a simple approach to enhance staff productivity, reduce stress, and maintain your office environment healthy and clean. Plants are not only beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but they’re natural air purifiers and stress relievers.
It’s Time to Rethink Meetings
Meetings have been an important part of office life for decades. We gathered in large conference rooms to hear new initiatives, plan new projects and attack tough problems. But when faced with a global shutdown, companies had to change the way they looked at and planned meetings. Virtual meetings were often smaller more focused groups, and some meetings were even replaced by emails.
When you start with a focus on health, personal wellness follows closely behind.
But small groups generate big ideas. Companies that recognize the value of these brainstorming sessions will continue to thrive as we return to the office. Working from home, companies often utilized breakout sessions in their virtual meetings to plan and strategize. Create an environment that is conducive to these breakout sessions with collaboration areas.
As we return to the office, it is likely that conference rooms will be full with half the people they were before. With some team members joining virtually. The pandemic will not be the end of meetings, but this crisis has and will change meetings forever.
Create a Community
Output per hour of work — productivity — climbed significantly in the first half of 2020, despite the shift to remote work for many organizations. This would be cause for celebration in a normal year, but the reason for these gains wasn’t positive. The global health crisis had an overwhelmingly negative impact on the economy. The result was many businesses laying off their underperforming workers. The gains in productivity were actually a result of an economic downturn and not an indication of the increased productivity of remote workers.
The pandemic will not be the end of meetings, but this crisis has and will change meetings forever.
Some workers did experience increased productivity, but for many, the pandemic had serious effects on their ability to complete their work. Particularly, companies who are onboarding and training the increasing amount of new employees have expressed extreme challenges. Turnover is high, and recruiting and hiring have had to increase to match. The limited in-person interactions effects not only learning and on-the-job training, but the integration into company culture and community is next to impossible.
The pandemic taught us valuable lessons about the pros and cons of remote work. Fewer commutes, more quite focused time, the ability to customize your own environment to name a few. But the benefits and need for office work are becoming more apparent as the period of remote work has extended. Create spaces in your office to prioritize training and community building. This increases the sense of belonging for new and seasoned employees alike. Companies who are able to take these lessons and implement them practically in their post-COVID office design will rise to the top.
Explore our modern furniture collection for Post-COVID design inspiration.