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Why the office is here to stay


Modern office

We all know that the pandemic had a profound impact on the way we work, especially for people used to visiting an office every day. For many, working from home has now gone from being a trend to becoming a typical part of the week.


This has forced employees and employers to take a step back and reimagine the role an office space has to play and whilst our use of the office has changed its importance is being reaffirmed.


The impromptu moments matter

Something many people noticed during the pandemic was the lack of social interaction with their colleagues. You’re much less likely to have those ‘watercooler’ chats over Teams, Zoom or Google Meets – and these are the moments when colleagues feel more connected. On the other hand, virtual working can often feel a lot more transactional and distant. A recent survey at Deloitte found that 86% of staff ranked ‘collaborating with colleagues’ and ‘interacting with others’ in the top three ways they envisaged using the office.


We don’t all have the luxury of working from home

Many junior team members don’t have access to a home office – and working from a bedroom or a shared living room isn’t ideal. They also miss out on mentorship and being there for the all-important brainstorming and strategy sessions.


Online doesn’t have all the answers

Quality working relationships are so important for workplace wellbeing. They can make employees happier, healthier and a lot less stressed. Plus, employees with friendships or social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal. Digital tools are brilliant at helping us work from anywhere – but meaningful working relationships are much easier to nurture in an office.


So what does all this mean for the workspaces of the future?


The office: but not as you know it

Today we expect more than just a desk from our offices. They’re no longer just places to get our heads down and work. They’re spaces for collaboration and community building, where people can experience a company’s culture. Businesses want their physical spaces to reflect their brand values and gyms, games rooms or roof terraces are now pretty normal. These aren’t just luxuries – plenty of studies have shown amenities like these make for healthier, happier and more productive employees.


An extension of home

As the way which we exercise, eat, meditate, socialise and study becomes more integrated into our work lives, key trends are emerging – and wellbeing, sustainability and community are being put right at the heart of office life. This doesn’t just apply to the physical build of the space, but also the activities that are available. Whether it’s a room dedicated to rest or reflection, gardening workshops or free yoga classes.


It goes beyond brand values

Offices aren’t just innovating to represent their brand values, but also to meet the criteria of the BREAAM certification and the WELL Building standard.


BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) measures the sustainability of buildings based on factors like reduced carbon emissions, low impact design, adaptation to climate change and ecological value. In a recent report by Oktra, who are experts in office design, 61% of people surveyed said that sustainable materials in the office were important for overall satisfaction.


The WELL Building standard helps organisations design spaces that enhance human health and wellbeing. This meets another key need for workers, with the same report from Oktra noting that Gen Z and Young Millennials now expect their employers to take active steps to safeguard their wellbeing.


Creating compelling reasons to come in

Office life can give us a lot. But for the next generation of workers, offices now need to do more than ever before.


As employee expectations evolve and ideals are being reprioritised, companies are looking for ways to create magnetic experiences and a shared sense of belonging. All while addressing environmental concerns.


The office evolution is beginning – and we believe that office farms could be one part of a very exciting future. By providing a place for community and congregation, while promoting nutrition and wellbeing, they go right to the heart of what people are looking for from a modern, progressive workplace.

 

Square Mile Farms bring vertical, urban farming to city dwellers. We aim to bring people closer to food production and help to create a culture of healthy, sustainable living. Find out more about our offering and get in touch here with any queries. You can also follow us on social media to stay up to date with our journey, find us on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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