2021 marked ‘The Great Resignation’ – a 12-month span in which record numbers of employees left their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities. Because of mass home-working during the pandemic, some people found they had more flexibility than ever before. And as things started to return to ‘normal’, they weren’t prepared to give this up.
Now, as many UK businesses return to their central workplaces, all, or some of the time, it’s become apparent that some of these environments are no longer fit for purpose. There’s a chasm between them, and what people now want and need.
So how do designers support businesses in enticing employees back? We believe it’s by transforming the workplace into a ‘destination’. One that considers the needs of all members of the post-pandemic workforce. Plus, most important of all, the planet.
What workers want:
According to Advanced Workplace Associates, the average UK employee would like to work 2-3 days a week from home. And, when in the office, it’s important they experience the same level of home comfort.
In residential bathrooms, soft, curved edges are a key trend, paired with calming, pared back tones. We’ve taken influence from this, implementing design details, such as calming curved pilasters as part of our Curve Cubicle range, and warming colour palettes, from earthy terracotta to leafy greens, available here in our Sunlit Days Vanities collection.
With more emphasis now placed on hygiene and germ control, the addition of seamless basins, concealed mirror boxes and contactless soap dispensers and dryers in workplace washrooms subtly provide comfort and reassurance
Washrooms are the most utilised space in any workplace. And they must, without exception, be accessible to all. For the workforce to truly want to return to a dedicated central office, every individual must feel their needs are being met.
With this in mind, we provide gender neutral washroom solutions through our Superloo product. For architects and designers, we know that choosing the best washroom option is a delicate process, so listening carefully to client and end user needs, whilst having a good understanding of regulatory demands, is crucial.
We have launched a new CPD on this very topic, aimed at architects and designers hoping to learn more about including gender neutral washrooms in their upcoming schemes. Get in touch with our team for more information.
According to an article on Fast Company, 40% of US millennials have chosen a job because of company sustainability.
Speaking to Material Source on the organisational response to sustainability in workplace, author and workplace futurist Lisa Whited, said: “Many organisations say ‘we put our people first’. Our people are our most important asset, which they are. There’s no question your people are your most important asset. But if there’s no planet for them to live on, then don’t put them first. You’ve got to put the planet first.”
When taking the two sides: employee/employer, into consideration, it’s clear that, above all else in shaping the future of workplace design, sustainability comes top priority.
This has informed our product offering for some time, and spurred on the recent release of our brand new PaperStone ® Vanities collection. This unique material combines 90% FSC certified recycled paper and cardboard with PetroFree natural resin and pigments, resulting in a sustainable paper composite surface material that’s been heated and compressed to give incredible strength and endurance.
In addition to contributing to a well planet, the collection also takes cues from nature for its colour palette. This is further bolstered by the addition of a grounded, earthy tactility, all combining to positively impact the wellbeing of people, too.
We’re dedicated to supporting you, the designer, in shaping the future of workplace. Please get in touch with our team to discuss how we can enhance your next project.