Employees want to see re-designed spaces dedicated to health and collaboration post pandemic.
Employee health and workplace hygiene are top considerations for companies re-entering the workplace and are playing a pivotal role in shaping occupational density trajectory. Employers are looking to new technologies to enhance office environments as COVID-19 has put into question the appeal of highly dense, large, open-plan offices. While the upward trend in office density has sharply reversed as social distancing is adhered to, once a vaccine or effective treatment is available, JLL predicts the extreme de-densification levels seen on initial re-entry to ease back (but certainly not all the way) to pre-COVID-19 levels. But, one thing’s for certain, the office itself will look very different.
According to a post-COVID workplace survey by Big Red Rooster, a JLL company, 94 percent of employees want the option to return to the physical office, indicating that remote work should augment, not replace, traditional offices. The same survey found that out of workplaces, restaurants, and retail locations, respondents trust workplaces the most in terms of safety, reaffirming a positive outlook for the future of office demand.
Employee well-being is at the center of office modifications underway. Desks spaced six feet apart will become table stakes, along with added physical barriers, improved air filtration systems and one-way traffic flow signage.
Reinforce safety with purposeful choreography of the space
Big Red Rooster is currently working with companies to promote health and well-being through materials and design, positioning workstations to maximize natural light, incorporating naturally antimicrobial materials in furniture and installing private nooks for mental breaks with calming colors and scents.
Promote health and well-being through materials and design
On the other hand, post-COVID offices will go beyond physical design and technological innovation, driving interactions and tasks which technology cannot replicate. A recent survey from employment platform Monster found that over two-thirds of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home, indicating the positive effects the away-from home and in-person work experience can have on mental health.
“The office will shift to become less about sitting in a desk all day and more so as a safe place for colleagues to collaborate, engage and interact,” said Todd Burns, President, Project and Development Services, JLL Americas. “For some, it will be key to their emotional wellness in such unprecedented times.”
As part of its commitment to fostering an enduring culture of health and well-being, JLL recently announced two programs to enable safer, healthier workplaces.
Originally published by JLL Newsroom.