Covid-19 changed the way we work, and we don’t just mean working remotely. The hot topic of work-life balance took center stage as people tried to figure out this new normal – and realized they liked it. Since the great return to the office, dress codes have relaxed, hybrid work is more common and, most importantly, people are redefining their work life balance while in the office.
Work life balance is not just about how much time you spend working versus not. It’s about your priorities, activities, and finding joy in the work you do – something office design can impact. Working from home led many to realize that cubicles and grey walls weren’t conducive to their work or enjoyment. It’s just not pleasant. Activity-based-working, a design concept that prioritizes a variety of workspaces for different tasks, and biophilic design, which brings nature and natural elements into the office, are the big players in how offices are changing post-Covid. These design concepts are all about reducing burnout in employees.
An article by Harvard Business Review discusses how work-life balance is a 5-step cycle: pause and denormalize, pay attention to your emotions, reprioritize, consider your alternatives, and implement changes. What activity-based-working and biophilic design both provide is a way to escape “the office” and give your employees an opportunity to work through these steps or just get away for a moment to recharge. Here are some ways you can introduce these principles into your current workspace:
- If you have the space, provide your employees with different areas for different kinds of work. For example, introduce a quite zone for more focused work or a collaborative zone for team projects.
- Add a green wall to your office space. Green walls, also known as living walls, provide benefits such as cleaner air, increased productivity, boost in mood and happiness, reduced stress, better memory retention and increased creativity. Green walls are a great way to provide the benefits of nature in any office space, no matter the size.
- Encourage your employees to go outside. If you can, cultivate an outdoor space specifically for your employees to escape to. A great example is the Amazon Seattle Spheres, which feature 4,000 feet of living walls with over 25,000 plants. While the Spheres are technically indoors, the plant walls still provide a biophilic escape like the outdoors would.
Covid-19 changed the world, but in a few good ways. These simple concepts will go a long way to helping your employees find the balance they deserve and, ultimately, be happier to work with you. If you’re looking for ways to implement biophilic design, let us help. We offer plant walls, living walls, moss walls, design and more.