As professionals return to the office space post-pandemic, employers will need to account for the psychological safety of those returning to work. With the need for division in the workplace remaining, so too does the mental and physical stress associated with the transition from virtual working. While it is important for organizations to remind personnel to be cautious, leadership should be mindful of the employee’s perception of non-verbal communications as they return to work. How can organizations satisfy the conditions for safety in the post-pandemic office, while also accounting for the emotional well-being of their employees? Experts suggest that taking a human-centric approach to transforming the workplace can help employers to create positive workspaces that ease the return-to-work transition.
Using Biophilic Elements in Office Design
To create spaces that have a positive effect on employee wellbeing, employers should seek to identify those aspects of the space that directly affect one’s mood. Global corporate furniture giant, Allsteel, identifies biophilia, the use of natural elements, as a well-researched approach that organizations can take to alleviate stress in the workplace. Living elements, natural textures, neutral colours, outdoor views and circadian lighting are all ways that space planners can incorporate biophilia into the workplace.
The post-pandemic design for 81 Metcalfe, Suite 200, in Ottawa, uses living elements to further divide the space, offering a subtle indication that employees should remain vigilant while leveraging the mood-boosting effects of biophilia. Outdoor views remain open and visible, allowing natural lighting to take up the space. Neutral colours are used where possible to elevate employee mood and enhance the in-office experience.
While design elements are key to helping employees feel at ease in the workplace post-pandemic, the layout and geometry of the office space has the potential to further influence employee performance. Read more about designing spaces that perform in our next post in this four-part series.
Visit the listing page for 81 Metcalfe for more information about this property.
The Post-Pandemic Office Part 3: Designing Collaborative Spaces that Perform