The modern American office is now competing with the work from home (WFH) environment. Employees are voting with their feet for more flexibility in their lives. The days of the open office and cubicle farms are over.
How should the workplace evolve?
It was time for my colleagues and me with Silverado Roundtable to dig deep to offer human resources professionals, facilities managers, and the design community some tools to address the post-pandemic reality. We present The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace – Second Edition.
I never thought I’d write ONE white paper. Now I’ve written two! How did we get here?
New approach to the office after the pandemic
Back in March 2020, we all wondered how the coronavirus pandemic would affect us. Remember how scary it seemed? Good Earth Plant Company wondered how it would affect our commercial and residential clients and our ability to provide services. We found out the need for nature was greater than ever.
We realized something we’ve known for more than four decades in business enriching peoples’ lives with plants could answer many questions about all the empty offices. Biophilic design in our workplaces and gathering spaces would become central to our health and wellbeing.
But no one was talking about it. So, my colleagues and I from the Silverado Roundtable – a group of workplace greenery experts around the U.S. – used our expertise to produce a white paper in January 2021 to explain and explore these concepts. Thousands of people read it and we hope it started many conversations.
By the end of 2021, our thinking about workspaces had evolved again. Americans started thinking about work as something you do, and not a place you go. But employers wanted their employees back.
Employers, you NEED collaborative spaces inspired by Nature
Getting right to the point: Employers need to embrace workplace design focused on creating a collaborative culture to remain competitive and retain their top talent. Especially for Millennial and Gen Z employees, we learned over the past two years’ work.
The design community is creating fresh collaborative spaces to facilitate the emerging hybrid workplace. Space devoted to individual offices and desks is shrinking. Instead, offices are creating appealing alternatives to the soul-crushing conference rooms for collaborative work. It brings together our enthusiasm for biophilic design and the “resimercial” design trend. Wouldn’t you rather gather in a place more like your favorite coffeehouse or hotel lounge, brainstorm with your colleagues, then go back to your home office to focus on getting the work done? This is where the workplace is heading.
When workplaces embrace biophilic design and nature, they find the answer to this challenging question. Open office plans become light-filled, nature-inspired places to gather and encourage brainstorming and teamwork. This is what the modern office does best as part of a hybrid arrangement.
NEW findings from our second edition of The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace include:
- Work-from-home will account for nearly 28% of full paid working days after the end of the pandemic.
- A clear majority* would prefer hybrid (three days on premises, two days at home) over full-time in-person *Among workers whose jobs permit remote work, excluding so-called “frontline employees.”
- 42% of all employees would either look for a new job or quit if their employer required an immediate return to full-time office work.
return to the office. This increases among women and minority employees.
- The larger the employer (500 employees or more), the more workers want to work from home.
Healthy, comfortable workplaces are no longer negotiable. In a tight labor market, they play a significant role, including the ability to support more inclusive, diverse hiring and retention.
Creating a nature-based environment with plants and natural materials provides a cost-effective solution. One month of workplace greenery maintenance can cost 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 second edition white paper digs deeper into what we’ve learned from the pandemic. We know architects, interior designers, human resources leaders, and facilities managers need support to give their clients the ability to use their commercial space productively and profitably.
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, enriching, and energizing.
The post-pandemic workplace will foster collaboration and communication in environments with a focus on creativity and inspiration in a healthier way. Companies must cultivate their culture, creating a place where people want to gather and work together to contribute to a greater purpose. And just maybe, biophilia will become a household word!
Want to read our latest masterpiece? Find and download The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace – Second Edition here. Please feel free to share and post. All we ask is a link. Please offer your thoughts and feedback too!
If our white paper inspires you to improve where you work, live, and play, Good Earth Plant Company is just a call or email away at 858-576-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org