A Few Key Learnings From 2020
Many of us can think back to the exact moment in 2020 when we realized that things were about to become a whole lot different. The moment when you were told you had to work from home… the moment that you realized that your kids were only on day #4 of being home from school… the moment that you decided it was time that you, too, should try baking your own banana bread… doesn’t that seem like ages ago, yet also like it was only yesterday?
Though the last year challenged people and businesses, it provided us with an opportunity to learn and grow. We had to learn to be more adaptable, creative and connected even though we were apart. As we look back on the last twelve months, here are a few key learnings that we want to share:
1. People’s expectations about the work experience have changed.
After spending months at home during this crisis, workers have never been more in touch with what they want from their work and workplace. People have new and increased expectations of their employers and workplaces – desiring a dramatically different and better experience than the one they left. Steelcase shares the 5 things employees need now, here in their Global Report.
2. Outdoor space provides a great escape from reality.
Many of our employees have expressed that one of the best things to come out of the work from home order was the chance to be able to work outside or take a mid-day break in the sun. There is a lot of research that supports the claim that spending time in nature is really good for you, and we definitely agree. Companies should look into elevating their outdoor spaces so that employees will still have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors, even while at the office. Learn more about how we can help by reading our recent post, “Bringing Your Work Outside”
3. A balance between collaboration and focus in both physical and digital environments is a must.
Moving forward, people are going to want control of deciding where they would like to work, whether it be at home or in the office. A hybrid workspace will need to be one that can support the mix of both remote and in-office employees, enabling them to transition between spaces. Here are a few thought-starters to help envision a successful hybrid workspace.
4. Leadership is key for bringing back employees.
In order to attract people back into the office, leaders have to ask questions, listen and understand their employees’ unique needs and concerns. “The most effective leaders – and those who create conditions for returning to better work experiences – are those who continuously reinforce meaning and purpose in the work their team members perform” – Forbes; “Bringing People Back to the Office: Here’s What It Will Take”
5. An office is more than just a place to work.
The office is more important than ever. Having a physical place for an organization’s team drives innovation and growth, fosters culture, and brings people together. While we don’t see working from home going away, the workplace is an important part of the holistic work experience. Take a look at these 15 Reasons Why the Office Matters.
All in all, we have learned over the past year that though the pandemic was not easy on anyone, it pushed people and businesses to start thinking about what we all need and what we want to achieve together. We can use the learnings from this last year as an opportunity to redefine the office and create a place where people can feel a sense of belonging, resilience and purpose.
Our goal is to make your job easier. We are here to help you create a better work experience that can start now & adapt to whatever the future may hold.