Companies trying to create the future of office space have their hands tied until a coronavirus vaccine is found and a better view of what the world looks like post-pandemic emerges.
Still, office experts predict a changed landscape for employees no matter what happens with the virus.
The biggest transitions will evolve naturally from office buildings having to compete with work-from-home benefits — namely easy access to food, quiet workspaces and the ability to walk in a nearby park or green environment midday for rest and rejuvenation.
“I think we were very much heading in the direction of wellness and healthier building design and operations prior to COVID,” Hall Group Director of Leasing Kim Butler said on Bisnow’s Aug. 18 webinar, “Mind over Matter: The Psychology of Building Design and Wellness.”
Having millions of Americans work from home at once simply accelerated this shift, Butler said. She’s already seeing employees return to work with a mindset that they want the best elements of working from home in the office.
The younger workforce is used to having plenty of food options nearby or downstairs, so office environments are likely to become a greater mix of offering friendly hospitality solutions with comfortable locations for employees to converse and collaborate without returning to the loud open workspaces that dominated much of the workspace prior to the pandemic.
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