We have all been excited to return to social outings like concerts, sporting events, bars, and restaurants, but slow to return to the office — only 30% of people are back in the office at some point during the week. This WDM article from Bob Fox, Chairman & Principal at FOX Architects, explores how the office environment must evolve into a central space that allows for a perfect blend that supports both the collective group and the individual. In Bob’s words, “the workplace is central to an organization that embodies and communicates, the vision, culture, values, purpose, and mission of that collective group of people.” However, technology and COVID-19 have fundamentally changed the game for our team members. Many of us that have spent the last 10, 20, or even 30 years in an office environment (naturally) felt that the working world would quickly reset after the pandemic, and we would all return to the office. The data reflects that isn’t happening, though, and perhaps it is because the experience of Millenials and GenZs, with 10 or fewer years of work experience, has been dramatically different than that of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. We are quickly approaching nearly three years of GenZ college graduates (2019-2021) that have spent 12 months or less of their formative professional years working in a physical office, with many recent graduates never even stepping foot into their employer’s office. Combine that reality with how much individualization and choice these generations have grown up with in their personal lives (and we have all quickly become accustomed to), and you can see the challenge facing CEOs today: How to create a space that embodies the company’s brand, culture, values, and that enables innovation and collaboration, while also providing the freedom of choice, convenience, and personal preferences of the individual.
Every company is different, and there will be no one size fits all solution here. If your organization is already or just starting to take on these challenges, know that we are here to help you navigate and explore the workplace solutions that can support your goals. Contact us today for a free consultation.