What strategy are you implementing for your 2022 in-office environment and why?
Everyone’s new normal looks different— for some that means they have adjusted their office space to fit new employee expectations, for others, they have adopted a hybrid working model. To help companies improve their office environment, we asked business owners and community managers this question for their best insights. There are several strategies that may help your business improve its in-office environment in 2022.
Let in Natural Light
One of the ways we are becoming greener in the office, without any cost that offers long-term benefits to our company is to encourage fresh air and natural light to our cooped up employees.
As well as saving money on electricity, this creates a bright and healthy environment, in a recent Human Spaces study, results showed that individuals who are exposed to natural light have a 15% higher level of well-being than those who work in environments bereft of natural light sources.
Saskia Ketz, Mojomox
Prioritize Collaboration Over Density
With the pandemic driving continued uncertainty and our team coming to rely on working from home, we made the decision to shift to a hybrid workplace. We gave team members the choice to work from home full-time, come into the office some days of the week, or work from the office full-time.
To match this adjusted future work model, we also adjusted our physical office space. Rather than solely rows of assigned cubicle seating, we've reconfigured our space to have more drop-in hoteling spaces, more collaboration spaces including breakout rooms and spaces, and more meeting rooms. We're also investing in meeting room technology to ensure meetings with clients, work-from-home staff, and in-office staff are seamless and productive.
Colton De Vos, Resolute Technology Solutions
This year we are piloting the use of standing desks at our office. As the current situation made it more difficult to exercise and stay fit, this can hopefully change it. We are particularly interested in the psychological effect that such arrangements would have. Standing makes people feel somehow more official and is said to boost focus.
Michael Sena, SENACEA
Initiate an Office Wellness Program
The past two years have been stressful ones, negatively impacting the health of many employees, which is why we have implemented a work-life balance program within our office. Recent studies showed some of the highest levels of stress ever recorded among the workforce and many businesses are looking to restructure their office environment to create a balance and combat those difficulties.
In order to contribute to our employees’ mental and physical wellbeing, we have initiated a form of corporate wellness program to create a form of inter health care community. Encompassing items such as nutritious foods in the breakroom, physical fitness programs, and our “stress-free” game room, it is our goal to lessen both mental strain while promoting physical health. Through this initiative, we hope to create a healthier and happier workplace, as well as increase productivity and employee retention.
Cody Candee, Bounce
Create Flexible and Modern Office Spaces
Modernizing the office space in 2022 comes as both a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as decades of the cubicle environment. Many have become disenchanted with the standard office space and are seeking innovation both in the physical workspace, and in the day-to-day active layout. Taking steps to create a workplace that is more employee-centric is the key to maintaining workplace environment stability in the coming years.
Kashish Gupta, Hightouch
Add a Central Hangout Area
One thing I’ve noticed since moving back into the office post-Covid is that we’ve become disconnected as a team. Prior to the pandemic, our group was tight-knit and people seemed to interact in the office frequently. Today, however, people seem conditioned to use Slack or Microsoft Teams, do their work alone, and head out for the day. That’s why I’m revamping our physical space to incorporate a central hangout area. We’ve cleared space in the center of the office for oversized bean bag chairs, a coffee table, snacks, and a TV with HDMI input. My hope is that people will relax in this new space, bond socially, and even use the TV for sharing screens to discuss projects. From a high level, we need to reconnect as a team and I feel like this change might be what we need to make that happen.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Implement a Fluid Environment to Foster Ideas
We believe that businesses function best when ideas are encouraged, and creating an environment to increase the free flow of opinions and perspectives will be our primary focus when it comes to our office environment. Although most businesses have hierarchical structures, creating a more fluid one when it comes to project management brings down barriers and increases the engagement rate.
By implementing pulse surveys to frequently get our employees’ opinions, open-door policies to encourage discussion, and a task completion rather than a hours worked structure to create a sense of freedom in the workspace, we look to foster those ideas. In creating a fluid office environment, it is our hope to not only encourage creativity, but create a sense of shared responsibility and input.
Zach Letter, Wonder Works
Focus On Learning and Upskilling with L&D Portals
As the head of a recruiting firm, I believe we have a lot to catch up with, now that the pandemic and the chaos it ensued has somewhat died down. From the largescale unemployment in 2020 to remote hiring, The Great Resignation, and the subsequent labor shortage, the past two years have been a rollercoaster ride, testing my team's resilience and proficiency. While we successfully weathered the storm of challenging projects in 2021, having an office environment that encourages continued learning is the best way to go ahead. Leveraging the latest industry-relevant tools and training my workforce to use modern software to drive business operations can be valuable for business growth while providing employees themselves an opportunity to enhance their credibility and skillset for future career advancement. As companies look for innovative recruiting solutions, I plan on training my team to match my clients' growing expectations by setting up a solid company-wide L&D portal this year.
Anjela Mangrum, Mangrum Career Solutions
Provide Covid-19 Testing Access
Heading back to the office presents a new challenge for employers to keep their teams in good physical health. Consider providing viral testing through a corporate partnership with a clinic when an employee has been in potential close contact with a COVID-19 infected individual. Look for a company that can provide an on-site lab and services, which will expedite turnaround times for all tests.
Norman Bizon, TravelBug Health
While many companies are incorporating some form of remote work, most companies have found that removing a physical office presence entirely is not the answer. If you’re struggling to map your workforce and workplace strategy or looking for commercial real estate space that fits your new needs as a firm, sign up for your free strategy session to be connected with one of the nation’s most experienced human capital experts and a tenant-only commercial real estate advisor.