80% of companies in Spain seek proximity to natural environments when choosing their offices
The right selection of buildings is essential for designing spaces that help people work, learn and feel good. The size or location of the property according to the strategy of the company has always been a major concern of companies. However, the needs of businesses when choosing a building after the pandemic have changed slightly.
Nature nearby, a new priority
In this sense, COVID-19 has favored companies looking for sustainable buildings with healthy environments, which allow their employees to arrive by different means of transport such as bicycle, scooter, car or public transport. . In addition, according to an analysis carried out by Steelcase, 80% of companies looking for a new location are looking for spaces that promote contact with the natural environment and allow them to practice outdoor sports. Indeed, more and more companies wish to integrate dressing spaces in their offices to facilitate the exercise of their employees.
“The pandemic has changed many behaviors, increasing concerns about health and sustainability. The key when selecting a building at this time is to look for spaces that promote flexibility, always prioritizing the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of workers, ”says Alejandro Pocia, president of Steelcase Iberia.
How company location affects sustainability
Regarding building equipment, in addition to its general condition, it is important to look at three key points: climate, ventilation and lighting.
The geographical situation marks the use of a greater or lesser level of resources to air-condition the spaces well, in this way, it is an important factor which also affects the ventilation capacity, and of course, the natural lighting or created.
Aspects that Steelcase addresses with its own building selection methodology, based on:
Transformation strategy. It is the most important step and the one which conditions all the others. The organization must start by defining the culture it wishes to convey in its space. Analysis of the necessary size (evaluation of the percentage of current and future teleworking) and of the location of the property. Once the culture to be transmitted has been defined, also defining the percentage of teleworking, the most suitable space must be selected according to its location. The location of the property says a lot about the culture of the organization. The old-fashioned practice of selecting a space based on “so many workers I have, so many square meters I need” must be radically rejected. Space is much more than the square meters available to it. the type of work that is being done, providing options for collaborating, relaxing, socializing, etc. is much larger than the traditional 10 m2 per person. Design of spaces suited to the company’s strategy. The workspace can help reflect and promote corporate culture and therefore alignment plans are made between corporate strategy and long-term real estate investment optimization . Prospects for Innovation, Creativity and Agility. Approaches so that, through design, the organization can pivot its actions in the workspace, allowing increased performance and productivity, promoting creativity, innovation and agility.
How to boost creativity, productivity and well-being in the office?
More than 32,000 workers around the world have agreed on one aspect: they do not want to return to work in the traditional face-to-face model, nor in an obsolete space. In the case of Spain, according to the global study by Steelcase Work Better: Changing Expectations and the Future of Work, 53% of Spaniards want a hybrid work system, which makes it possible to combine going to the office and teleworking. As main interests, Spanish workers hope to recover the possibility of personal co-creation and social relations (30%), as well as access to specific tools (28%), or the improvement of learning (28% ). Out of curiosity, these priorities change when the profile is managerial, the first necessity of which is to have a neutral space to deal personally with clients.
In this sense, when you consider how an office should be designed, the experts at Steelcase conclude that the key is to build hybrid, flexible and dynamic workspaces; spaces that facilitate collaboration and meet the needs of all professionals. This will enable the creation of work experiences that positively impact productivity, both for employees and for the business itself.
In this sense, there are four major design trends:
Think about individual and collective needs. They should facilitate both individual and team work, while allowing for rapid changes from concentrated work alone to team collaboration. Flexibility and fluidity Spaces that allow different ways of working. In this sense, two types stand out: flexible spaces (mobility, accessibility to energy sources, technology and division) and flexible architecture (elements that allow multiple ways to reorganize space, spaces that expand and contract as needed). Combine open and closed spaces, a main trend will be closed spaces for individual concentration and open spaces for collaborative work. The physical and digital union Teams will need spaces and technologies to create inclusive experiences for team members working both remotely and physically present. Smart sensor technologies should be integrated into infrastructure to support the growth of data-driven and artificial intelligence-driven experiences.
Dynamics which also explain the behavior of employees among themselves. And is that another important factor when selecting a property is to look for offices where staff can move freely and without barriers, with the aim of facilitating communication between colleagues, which could create silos. within the organization.