Who Says the Return to Work Can’t Be Enjoyable?
With the world in a constant state of disarray, it’s clear that employers must take action to ensure the health and safety of their employees. Employee satisfaction is an aspect of that.
As offices are opening across the country, unique re-entry requirements are taking shape. Many organizations are already focused on providing a healthy and happy space for their constituents. Open arms are the way to go, and they’re doing it with smarter, more connected, and, hopefully, more automated operations.
Another bonus, companies are doubling down on workplace ‘attractants’ — restructuring spaces so that they give off chill vibes, foster open office workflows, and support more flexibility — as opposed to drab designs and forced monotony. For many, it’s working. Companies across the globe are hiring renowned design firms to help rethink and reimagine office space.
As James Brown would say, “Papa’s got a brand new bag.”
These Companies Opening Their Doors Are Making The Office More Fun, Practical
With everyone coming back to work, demoralized, frightened, and most likely unprepared, employers understand there’s a need to strengthen and support their most valuable people.
If we hope to see the same levels of employee engagement and loyalty that we did in the past, there must be a concerted effort to build the workplace of the future. What we’re seeing, is a trend towards a smart campus approach with contextual, personalized, and connected experiences that keep employees safe, healthy, and above all, satisfied in and at work.
Office life 2.0 must be something workers look forward to, as opposed to dreading. Incorporating some of the newest and greatest business trends is one way to make that happen.
And there are already players out there, on the field, moving the goalposts. These 7 companies are doing workplace reentry right — building momentum for reinvigorating the office — not writing it off.
Microsoft | Introducing the ‘flexible grid’
Thanks to hybrid workforces spread between home, away, and office locations, flexible space is in high demand. Naturally, Microsoft has restructured its Israel offices to create a flexible “grid” with highly-adaptable space. Desks can be rolled into new positions, multi-purpose rooms can be modded to match various events, and open office spaces accommodate “neighborhoods” of collaborative teams.
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Beyond Meat | R&D space to expand the brand
Innovative food provider Beyond Meat will be moving to a 30-acre, cutting-edge campus facility to expand its efforts. The property is going to be dedicated to R&D and developing entirely new products. Early concepts show innovative open spaces, artistically-enamored communal areas, and industrially-inspired decor. Most importantly, the facility will be flexible and highly-functional to meet the needs of the expanding organization.
Tennant Co. | Welcome to the neighborhood
Tennant Company has overhauled its corporate campus for the better — introducing segmented areas known as work “neighborhoods” to foster collaboration and communication. Each floor is a different neighborhood with related amenities to spark creativity and innovation.
The new layout has also seen a reduction in closed office spaces, opening up areas and allowing for more natural lighting everywhere.
Piano | “Please, stay awhile and listen!”
Rather than cold and corporate, Piano has revamped its Old City offices to be warm and inviting. Think of a cute and cuddly fireplace, an espresso machine that produces delicious beverages, and a top-notch interior design that’s closer to a mid-century home than an office.
They even added a library for some creative free-time, complete with reading tables and U-shaped islands for collaborative experiences.
Kiln | A sanitation system from the future
As a slightly different take on the upgrades, Kiln has introduced a super-advanced cleaning system that helps keep its office and communal areas safe and healthy. A medical-grade HVAC purification system does most of the work, while an antimicrobial brass “Kiln Key” system ensures contactless access to various areas.
There are also infrared temperature check-in stations throughout the campus to help prevent the spread of illness.
Ketra | Employee-centric lighting
Inspired by innovative employee-centric lighting solutions, Ketra has overhauled its Austin, Texas headquarters to provide fully-customizable lighting for its employees. The lights can be adjusted to meet individual needs, whether located at a desk, conference room, office, or event space. They can swap seamlessly between bright light for focus and visibility, to warm light for a soft and relaxing ambiance.
More natural light has also been allowed to flow through the property, at the request of employees.
Waymo | A new home base
Waymo is soon to overhaul its newest office expansion, which will be a new home base for employees. The idea is to take a more confined space and make it accommodating for its workers, with as many as 850 at the new site, joining the atmosphere of the new Googleplex primed for new tech hub, life, and culture post-pandemic.
Gulch Union | Mixed-use space at your convenience
The properties of Nashville’s commercial real estate development, Gulch Union, offer a collection of retail, residential, and corporate solutions that are indicative of mixed-use space. The real potential stems from their location, which is incredibly close to city conveniences — just a brisk walk away.
There are also several high-end amenities close by, with the properties themselves including unique add-ons of their own. The 8th floor or “green roof” as they are called, offers an elevated and relaxing space to work, play, or socialize.
Positioning The Office As A Thriving Place To Work
The first thing to recognize is that place matters. The location is what brings people together from all over. It’s because community is an intrinsic human need, and that’s precisely why companies invest so much honing in on that sense — that feeling that helps someone belong.
Organizations will continue to install and improve COVID-secure measurements. They must ensure the health and safety of all within a facility, and not just employees. Flexible design practices are the key because they allow companies to expand and contract as necessary. Essentially it’s laying the foundation for organizations can meet the changing needs of today’s market, all while providing employees a consistent place to work.
That’s not all that goes into a successful and thriving workplace, however.
The reality is it’s not just about going to work anymore, being at work, and, well, working. It’s part of our lifestyles, it’s part of our day, and it’s something that many people are passionate about. Why shouldn’t we be able to enjoy ourselves?
Corporations that were once nearly immune to the idea of enjoying your work-life almost as much as your home life, are suddenly very keen on the concept and for good reason. An appealing workplace is a powerful recruitment tool, above all. When surveyed, 70% of employees say a prospective employer’s workplace design is important when weighing a new job offer.
It’s time we all had as much of a satisfying lifestyle at work, as we did away from it.
Originally published at http://info.thecxapp.com.