Balance in corporate values

The pandemic has been a great leveller and as a result, many organisations are focusing more on environmental and wellbeing issues. In addition to reduced travel through some homeworking, the balanced workplace will see more use and integration of outdoor spaces where possible, and if this isn’t available then bringing the sense of nature inside through the use plants, textures and natural fabrics instead.

Balance in office design

Workplaces need to provide a variety of settings for different activities. In addition to desk space, this could include quiet zones for focused work; collaboration spaces including formal meeting rooms and more flexible spaces; refreshment areas for socialising and refuelling; wellbeing spaces for fitness and mindfulness; outdoor areas to improve wellness; anchor points such as auditoriums to encourage people to move through the space; and even well-designed empty space such as walkways and staircases where people can meet serendipitously.

A good variety of these areas will help to support the balanced workplace concept. In a somewhat damning indictment of our current workplaces, 87% of the 850 office workers we surveyed in March believe their workplace needs to change after Covid.

Why a balanced workplace matters for businesses

Some people may be reluctant to return to the office. But the promise of a more balanced workplace will help organisations entice staff back, enabling companies to re- establish their culture, as well as fostering collaboration – which has struggled during the prolonged period working from home. The office is the place where companies build their social capital, where people network, build relationships, mentor one another and come up with great ideas. That will only happen if people come back.

A balanced workplace will be a place where people want to come, where they fear missing out if they’re not there. It’s an environment where people are highly engaged and productive and where absenteeism rates are low because people feel supported.

It’s a place which considers its impact on the environment allowing an organisation to contribute to their environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) responsibilities.

A balanced workplace is balanced at many levels – both physically in how the office is designed, but also in how it supports people bringing their whole selves to work, whenever and wherever they work.

Claire Watson-Gold Miles McLeod

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For further information contact: Petra O’Shea, head of sales – MAY/JUNE 2021 37

When we asked 850 office workers in March how they would change their office after the pandemic, almost half (48.5%) said they wanted an environment which offers enhanced wellbeing and health facilities – the most popular option – while a third said one with sustainable/ environmentally-friendly working practices and construction methods – the third most popular option.

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