The built environment shapes our behaviours and lifestyles, and the pandemic has dramatically impacted the design and operation of commercial builds in a multitude of ways. From the initial shut down, to rethinking the way we view and reconfigure spaces to keep potential new occupants safe – it’s clear that as we slowly but surely come out of this, the focus is going to be on health and wellness.
Developers and designers are already realising that incorporating health and wellness into building and workspace design isn’t going to be a luxury…it’s going to be necessary.
The spaces we occupy both commercially and domestically, have an enormous impact on health, well-being, and productivity. These spaces will be reconfigured and retrofit with more moveable partitions, workstations and seating options that can easily accommodate social distancing. All of which contribute to the bottom line and make economic sense for any organisation.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, and the build environment and workspaces need to be designed for a multitude of working arrangements that allow workers the means to easily make meaningful changes to the space, whilst still creating the sense of place, character, pride and purpose that aligns with each business unique company values.
Whether we are ready for it or not, the future of work is fast approaching, and our lives will forever be changed. It seems everybody is looking toward their crystal ball and trying to predict what the ‘future of work’ or the ‘new normal’ will look like, along with the timeframe to expect it. What the past year has taught us, is that we can work from anywhere we need to – whether in a private office, a co-working space or even a kitchen table. A work-from-anywhere movement is developing, and employee and employer expectations have shifted.
Businesses will continue to have at least a partially remote workforce, and it’s time to rethink the way buildings and workspaces are designed, to embrace and benefit from what we’ve learned about how remote and hybrid teams can be as productive as a fully staffed office.
To attract and retain top tenants and top talent, we need to start thinking of the office as a place we go to 'do business’, rather than a place where we go to work every day – and it all starts with designing for wellness.