A white paper released by Silverado Roundtable, "The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace," advises U.S. employers to embrace workplace design focused on creating a collaborative culture to remain competitive and retain its top talent.
"The great redesign of the modern American office is underway. Designers are working not only with high-tech firms, but traditional corporate clients to create fresh collaborative spaces to motivate and welcome employees on their return," said Shane Pliska of Detroit-based Planterra Corporation.
Here are some of the key findings from "The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Workplace":
- Only 1/5 remote workers said they wanted to go back to an office full-time.
- 1/3 of office workers say the design of an office would affect their decision to accept a job offer.
- Top items desired in office space by employees include natural light, live indoor plants and a quiet working space.
- Healthy workplaces are no longer negotiable. Access to fresh air, natural light, adequate personal space and cleanliness affect the perception of safety.
- A nature-based environment with plants and natural materials is essential to post-pandemic business survival.
- One month of workplace greenery maintenance costs less than buying lunch for employees once a month.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 19% of the factors affecting our health and well-being are directly related to the built environment, making architects and designers key to protecting public health.
The Silverado Roundtable, composed of America's workplace greenery design and installation experts, examines these economic and design challenges, and explores the human behavior and response behind the issues in their white paper based on recently post-COVID-19 survey data and expert interviews.
As employees return, they will demand surroundings serving their needs and assurances that they will be safe.
"In our experience, a well-designed space with natural elements makes it easier to recruit talented employees and can better provide those employees with a workplace that is energy lifting, instead of energy zapping," said Edward McDonnell, owner of Botanical Designs in Seattle.
The reconsidered workplace will foster collaboration and communication in environments with a focus on creativity and inspiration in a healthier way. Companies must cultivate their culture, creating a place where people want to gather and work together to contribute to a greater purpose.