How the pandemic has changed the future of workspaces
When the Coronavirus pandemic breached the New Zealand borders in 2020, thousands of Kiwis were forced to temporarily abandon their communal offices and conduct their work from home. Now, we know the on-again-off-again lockdowns left us all with minor whiplash, but we are actually some of the lucky ones. Millions of others worldwide have been forced to work from home for over a year and a half now, some with no ‘return date’ in sight yet.
As traumatic as this event has been, globally, it does provide an opportunity for us to question the status quo and consider how we would like to return to our workspaces.
This is what people have said they enjoy about working from home:
- It allows them to dress more casually
- Their environment feels more relaxed.
- They are able to take breaks or work outside in some situations.
- They are able to design and personalize their workspace more.
What people are missing from working in an office environment:
- The community environment and their co-workers
Where to next?
What we’re hearing is that most people do want to return to the office (at least in some capacity) but have a more holistic, nurturing, relaxing space. So how do we do that?
Considering the human experience in the workspaces will be a fundamental shift in the next few decades. As people have had a taste of what a more personalized, human-centric workspace feels like. We predict that buildings will begin to place a higher focus on sustainability and biophilic design in particular. Our buildings should be smart, intentionally crafted, healthy, and cater to the mental wellbeing of the individuals that spend more than half of their waking hours in that space!
Biophilic design is a unique style that attempts to connect a building’s inhabitants closer to nature. It is well proven that exposure to the natural world has powerful mental health benefits in our daily lives. This is a design style that is growing in popularity! More and more individuals actively seek a home or workspace that is sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. The key elements include; natural light, the presence of water, natural landscape and pure ventilation. We’re not convicts lining up for “outside time”. Humans intrinsically crave a connection to the natural world.
What does your ideal workspace look like?