In the piece, Nicole talks extensively about ideas her clients have explored before and during the pandemic that highlight opportunities for the future.
“The physical workspace is changing too, and employers are already planning for that future,” Nicole explains in the article. “(Her) clients are requesting design concepts that ‘reimagine’ the workspaces five to 10 years from now. Her team even developed unique ideas, including a ‘bubble room’ that serves as a safe space with all the amenities one might need to work – technology, privacy, etc. during a pandemic or future black swan events.”
The full piece is available on Out of Office, an editorial exploration via written pieces and podcast of the many ways workplaces can, and indeed are, improving life around the clock. Here’s another key excerpt:
On the new ideas commercial clients are advancing
Several clients are designing “cultural centers,” or heavily branded spaces where people can meet clients, have socially-distanced meals or meetings with colleagues. Another client halted work on a new employee gym when the pandemic struck and is now revamping the space to be a coworking facility with social distancing in mind. (The client kept the lockers and showers in place for the future, in case a workout facility comes back on the table).
Employers are also looking for new ways to encourage people to come back to the office again. This is pushing organizations to rethink amenities. Are there spaces the workplace can offer better than the home: music rooms, yoga space, gyms, coffee shop-like bar areas or nearby access to retail.
Future designs will likely push workers to rethink their psychological attachment to assigned desks and the old ways of work, says Nicole. Even before the pandemic, many employers were exploring “hoteling” strategies in which employees can book a communal desk for a set time. Hoteling is an immediate strategy for those organizations that need to bring some staff back to the office safely. But it’s also a long-term strategy as we pivot toward a more mobile workforce, explains Nicole.