Why was I crazy enough to tackle a white paper in the middle of a pandemic?
When the coronavirus pandemic hit the world over a year ago, Good Earth Plant Company wondered how it would affect our clients and us. We found out the need for nature was greater than ever.
After we got past the shock of the first few months and started looking toward the future, it seemed obvious the need for biophilic design and nature in our workplaces and gathering spaces would be greater than ever for our health and wellbeing. But no one was really talking about it.
With colleagues at the Silverado Roundtable, a group of workplace greenery experts around the U.S., we decided to create a white paper to explain and explore these concepts. We looked at current research, did interviews with experts, and hired an editor and graphic design team to help us. It took a while – but good things take time.
Here it is, the first white paper from our industry addressing the post-pandemic reality. It’s titled The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace.
Getting right to the point: Employers need to embrace workplace design focused on creating a collaborative culture to remain competitive and retain its top talent. Especially for Millennial and Gen Z employees, we learned in 2020 work is something you do, and not necessarily a place where you need to go to do work.
Light, bright, nature-filled offices embrace biophilic design
So if the modern American office is now competing with the work from home (WFH) environment, what should companies do to bring their workers back in the future?
The design community is working with high-tech firms and traditional corporate clients to create fresh collaborative spaces to motivate employees, so they WANT to be back in the office. It brings together our enthusiasm for biophilic design and the “resimercial” design trend we wrote about a few weeks ago, given new energy.
When workplaces embrace biophilic design and nature, they find the answer to this challenging question. The old cube farm and open office plan model become light-filled, nature-inspired places to gather and encourage brainstorming and teamwork. This is what the modern office can still do better than the WFH model.
Our key findings from The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace include:
- Top items desired in office space by employees: Natural light, live indoor plants, and quiet working spaces.
- Healthy workplaces are no longer negotiable. Access to fresh air, natural light, adequate personal space, and cleanliness affect the perception of safety.
- Creating a nature-based environment with plants and natural materials is essential to post-pandemic business survival.
- One-third of office workers say the design of an office would affect their decision to accept a job offer.
- One month of workplace greenery maintenance costs less than buying lunch for employees once a month.
According to the World Health Organization, 19% of factors affecting our health and wellbeing are directly related to the built environment, making architects and designers key to protecting public health.
The Silverado Roundtable’s white paper has the answers architects, interior designers, and human resources leaders can incorporate and implement to give their clients the ability to productively and profitably use their commercial space and push back the pandemic threat to their livelihoods.
Based on more than four decades of experience working with our clients to enrich peoples’ lives with plants, Good Earth Plant Company believes in the value of well-designed spaces with natural elements to better provide people with a workplace that is healthy, inspiring, and energizing.