Employees want first-class office space

aTwo years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) sent out a Covid alert and advised a quarantine mandate, requiring employers to scramble and shift toward remote work. I experienced a prolonged pandemic global workforce to its core, changing people’s collective views of work from home, homeschooling, separation of work from home life, burnout, need for social interaction, company culture, feelings of isolation, awareness of mental health, as well as the overall value of participation, collaboration and work Collective, face-to-face human interaction and what all this means for innovation.

The modern workplace is evolving – a trend only accelerated by the epidemic. As part of this evolution, employers are turning to psychologists to help retool their work environments and develop strategies based on empirical data and research-based evidence to attract, hire, and retain a globalized workforce.

The American Psychological Association (APA) says the innovations in the workplace spurred by the global pandemic are just beginning. The following year proved to be a mixed bag for many people working from home in 2020. While a third of employees and half of employers surveyed by the APA reported higher productivity due to remote work, “simultaneous isolation, loneliness, and work-issues”. Life ‘has had a huge impact. And ask most employers – they will admit that culture and collaboration struggled tremendously.

no alternative

Charles Calderwood, Ph.D., directs the Work Stress and Recovery Laboratory at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. He told the APA that another issue is how to reinforce the kind of communications and conversations that are leaking into the office. And those informal interactions not only bring the workforce closer, he says, but can lead to new insights.

Calderwood says epidemiological life has shown how the transition from video call to video call is a poor alternative. “There is not much opportunity for short conversations. Many perfect ideas emerge from those little conversations that people casually talk about.” For this reason, Calderwood believes that “the death of office space is a bit overrated.”

Psychology driving new office designs,Authored by Selby Frame for APA, farewell to massive open-plan workspaces. Instead, says Frame, “these designers now describe airy and carefully contained configurations, such as pods or lounge-type living rooms…and there will be more space between workstations, more hands-free technology, and a focus on creating outdoor spaces such as green roofs, patios, lobbies — or even just windows that open.”

It’s been over a year since we’ve been working in isolation at home, and if we’ve learned anything, “it is that we are deeply emotionally affected by our physical surroundings,” Frames writes.

Create and collaborate

As employees have proven their ability to work from home, companies have flocked to premium office buildings to lure their employees back. Why would you want to leave your home and spend the day in a rickety office instead?

The trend is back in the office, says John S. Petersen, executive vice president at Colliers. “People need to be together to learn, to understand, to communicate,” he says, and if your company isn’t, you’re behind. He knows that’s a bold statement, but that’s the narrative – people go back to the office excited to be back. “How do you create a culture when you can’t be together?” Petersen says.

So how do employers lure employees back? Petersen says Utah’s top parks and office spaces include open grid ceilings, K-13 noise-reduction applications, polished concrete floors, open break rooms, full-glass offices and meeting rooms.

“Portable one or two meeting rooms provide privacy for conference calls and personal calls. The spaces have evolved from the very traditional looks of a law office to a highly tech-oriented openness with natural light piercing the core of the building,” Petersen says. Amenities include full on-site fitness facilities with private showers and lockers, secure bike storage, public areas with barbecues, sports fields, and play areas for when kids visit.”

The Thanksgiving Garden and Thanksgiving Station in Lehi, Utah, transformed existing second-generation spaces with a comprehensive renovation to bring these spaces into the bright, modern buildings that tenants desire, Petersen says. In addition, all new shell structures are designed with the same modern flair that entices high-tech tenants with plenty of natural light for employee morale.

Listen to your workforce

Laura Monson, executive vice president at Colliers International, offers this advice for companies trying to create an office space that employees want to be in: Don’t design your space in a silo. Extract the input from each of your business functions. She says the type of space executives who think their employees need differs greatly from the needs of their workforce.

“Ultimately, I think companies need to focus on their corporate culture along with their physical facilities. If you don’t like who you’re working with, there’s no amount of on-site gaming that will make you want to come and see them,” Monson says.

And what does a cool and fun workspace look like nowadays? Monson says she’s seeing more hotel space and adding lounge areas, gyms and game rooms, which coincides with the APA results.

According to the APA, “Workplaces may include the office, the home, coffee shops, and nature — an interconnected set of settings that support productivity depending on a person’s work style and the tasks they need to complete each day.”

Petersen’s advice to companies looking to create first-class workplaces to attract and retain outstanding talent is to seek spaces with natural light, reduce the size of executive offices, and create an environment in which teams and groups can gather for conversation, ultimately creating a culture and collaboration. .

Utah has no shortage of quality space. As companies pick up on growth plans before and after the pandemic, Utah has the essential real estate business essentials to house some of the world’s first-class office headquarters.

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