Perspectives

Hybrid Workplaces Spur Design Changes in Offices
Apr 7, 2021 Featured, Health and Wellness

Hybrid Workplaces Spur Design Changes in Offices

One major topic in design right now is post-pandemic offices. Let’s face it. Zoom is great, but it is not a replacement for spending the majority of our workweek connecting in-person.

People are ready to leave their home offices for work offices in order to meet face-to-face with their colleagues and teams. Our need for human connection is how we build company culture, coach and mentor, brainstorm and reinforce our shared purpose. 

Now office spaces are being redesigned around health and safety considerations to optimize physical, mental and emotional wellness as well as productivity. 

For many people, their offices will have at least two locations – home and workplace. Employees seek mobility options; they want to work both remotely and in the office. In fact, some studies indicate that employers who offer a hybrid model where people balance days between the office and home have higher employee satisfaction, more productivity, and increased innovative thinking.

As home offices becomes a part of an on-going workforce strategy instead of a reaction to the pandemic, some employers are providing design services as a company benefit to help employees define their space, outfit their offices, and control noise and other distractions.  

One area of critical importance for designers to maximize productivity and health is office functionality. This includes such items as proper lighting; good airflow and temperature control; correct monitor and desk height; and ergonomically designed chairs.

 

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And don’t forget aesthetics like artwork or bringing in nature with plants and large windows. Color is also a key influencer of productivity, creativity, and mood in office spaces.

For example, here’s a quick breakdown about the psychological effects of colors in office spaces:

  • Blue helps with focus and is a good primary color.
  • Red stimulates and excites and makes a great accent color. 
  • Yellow projects positivity and creativity and is both a good accent and primary color.
  • Green represents balance and restoration. It is a good primary color for people who work long hours.
  • Orange creates a sense of comfort and fun.  It also makes a great accent color.

 

 

In the workplace, there has been a trend in the past few years toward more open environments with shared or unassigned seating.  This was believed to enhance collaboration. In fact, even before COVID hit, studies showed that while open workplaces provided increased creativity and an enhanced team experience, they had a negative productivity effect because of noise, privacy, and the ability to focus.   

Now that employees have enjoyed the privacy from home, they do not necessary want as high a degree of open space as pre-pandemic.  Additionally, safety is a fundamental concern with highly open environments because employees do not want to share desks. 

 

 

Post-pandemic workplaces mean that employers must establish how their office design and workplace policies can support health and well being.  At Sensory Six, we have a long-history of providing designs that unify safety, health, productivity and aesthetics into distinctive office spaces.  We would love to help.

 

Photos:

Sensory Six Designs

Unilever Headquarters DACH - Hamburg - Office Snapshots

Gallup Offices - Berlin - Office Snapshots

 

 

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