Week of 6/29/20: Insight & Articles We Are Reading
The challenge is clear. Workplaces must adapt. Yet, how do we design a workplace that responds not just to fear and anxiety, or the invisible threat of germs, but the full range of learned behaviors and attitudes that have evolved through the COVID-19 crisis?
In the last decade, employers have increasingly prioritized employee wellness, including mental health, understanding that happiness and productivity go hand in hand. Many employers are initiating workplace assessments to identify where physical changes can help mitigate germs. If they go one step further to examine the problem holistically from the user perspective, taking into account COVID-19-related attitude and behavioral shifts, they will succeed in creating a powerful support tool for worker morale, public health and business continuity.
We’ve narrowed down a list of five behavior and attitude shifts we predict will have the heaviest impact on the corporate workplace along with recommendations for meeting these challenges.
In recent years, workplace design has seen a shift away from closed off-private offices and cubicles into an open and social environment. This transition, caused by the “dot com generation,” has given way to a rise in what can be described as the “anti-office.” Companies are able to attract the best and brightest talent by gravitating towards a more relaxed and energetic atmosphere—the opposite of the traditional, separated workplace. Office spaces designed to foster more collaborative and creative work have made their way into all workplaces, far beyond tech and startup companies. The “anti-office” is the latest wave of workplace design, but how will it change given recent world events?
With the current pandemic, many in the workforce are scared to return to their open plan offices and believe that offices must once again be closed off to provide employees with their own personal and safe space. Implementing private pods and screen guards may help people return to the office in the short term, but in the long term, people will crave the important social interactions that an open floor plan allows for. As many have now adjusted to working remotely, making people feel comfortable enough to once again return to the office is a huge hurdle every business is currently facing. Just as workplace design saw an era of private cubicles and an age of the open office, workplace design is once again entering a new stage focused on wellness.
By Ben Tranel | July 2, 2020
As a result of COVID-19, the workplace will be forever changed. We won’t step back in time, simply “returning” to our former offices. Instead, we will be moving forward to a new place. It might look similar in many ways, but it’s going to be modified in strategic ways, incorporating new practices, new protocols, and new technologies.
- COVID-19 Safety Signage
- COVID-19 Response Assessment
- Tips to Ease Employees Back to the Workplace Post-COVID-10 and Give Them Confidence in Their Work Environment
- Checklist for Preparing the Workplace for Your Employees
- Workstation Enclosure and Space Delineation
- Screens – Adding Enclosure to Spaces Around the Workplace
- Local Company Makes Changes for a Safe Return to Work
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