The Post Pandemic Workplace

May 17, 2021

What Does the Workplace Look Like Post Pandemic?

A sense of unity is inherent to our civilization: it is a sense of identity, of connectedness - the feeling that we matter and are dedicated to fulfilling one another's needs. As a result, many companies have realized the importance of supplying their employees with a culture centred around their company's community. Space is a great tool for increasing engagement, inspiring creativity, and boosting efficiency. Weaving community into every part of the workplace environment is important because it's the active element that brings the mundane office space to life. A community gives workers a sense of connection: that they are a part of a greater movement, which gives value to their jobs and their lives in general.

An office's vibe and sense of culture affect workers' experiences and interest in their work in ways that have a concrete effect on the bottom line. People's relationships are so important to employee productivity and performance that Gallup researchers discovered that having a best friend at work is significantly correlated to an increase in employee motivation. So what exactly is an ideal space like?

Design that encourages collaboration, ingenuity, and innovation

Most employees today wish to avoid the monotony of the typical workplace environment. If we develop a unique and adaptable space designed for human interaction, it would bring value to not only a company's clients but also function as a platform for recruiting and retaining talent.

Social lounges are one good example. This popular meeting spot may have an espresso bar, beer and cider dispensers, a fireplace, a gaming room, and several casual meeting zones. Teams are switching brainstorming sessions from their offices to the community tables on the outdoor garden space, and casual foosball games are breaking out at lunch providing platforms for teamwork that builds a strong sense of community and harmony. It is no longer possible to simply deliver a job offer. Rather than isolating workers in the productive grind, businesses must have inspiring, physical environments where creativity can thrive.

Your office, a place even better than home

Companies are understanding the prerequisites for providing a “better than home” experience: the office space has to be welcoming, casual, versatile, and convenient. Although working from home or “third public spaces” is convenient, it lacks the fundamental human desire for a sense of community spirit. Many businesses plan each feature of their workplace separately, never understanding the overall employee experience. However, when culture, space, and technologies are built purposefully, they balance one another and become better than their individual parts.

By including lounges, coffee bars, and other open areas, you can devote more space to the team experience than the traditional workplace. Some companies have started creating smaller hallways to allow people passing to make eye contact and others create open stairways to enable more connections between floors. Whether it's a short brainstorming session or a big quarterly lunch with teammates, encourage deliberate connective moments.

Beyond design: The human connection

A sense of community cannot be fostered solely by design. Companies need to actively listen and keep an ear to the ground to facilitate a common lived experience through micro and macro moments. Rituals are important and food is a great example of one that can be harnessed to tie together a team. Most people eat lunch at work alone, so food sharing can be a deliberate way of building unity. Instead of leaving cookies and drinks out every day, try creating pop-ups that serve as an encouraging tool to get people together for extended periods of common time.

The experiences we have discussed are tools that can be crafted to serve and strengthen the larger corporate interests, as well as to make employees feel cared about, and respected. Employees and their motivation can truly flourish in a creatively designed work space that focuses on collaboration and community. What matters most for high levels of flourishing, though, is that employees have significant control and can be themselves at work. Staff members will be more dedicated to the company as a result, and they will be more motivated to bring their strongest ideas and innovations to the workplace daily.

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