The Workplace Reset

2020 was a disruptive year. But with disruption comes opportunity for a reset and to enact positive change in how we approach the workplace and housing. At GBBN, we have been collecting data to support our understanding of what’s working and what’s not. As the world begins to emerge from the past year of dealing with COVID, we’re examining how the pandemic will change workplace and housing environments in the future. I recently shared some of our insights in a presentation for the Urban Land Institute Cincinnati.

By fall of 2020, 35% of Americans were still working remotely—up from the traditional 2%—leading to numerous voices declaring the death of the office…something I’m not prepared to do.

The next generation of talent is choosing a lifestyle and finding a workplace that supports it.  The work from home experiment is allowing them to do this, which is accelerating changes that were already brewing before the pandemic.

Organizations are questioning what the value of a physical workplace is and what might the long-term risks be of remoteness. The future needs a resilient-based approach.

What does this mean? It means we need:

  • Spaces that optimize real estate, but support employee engagement.
  • Spaces designed with intention to evolve and adapt.
  • To anticipate events, shifts, and needs in the future.
  • To understand the workplace’s critical role in developing company culture, creating a forum for exchanging ideas, and promoting equity across organizations.

I invite you to learn more about GBBN’s workplace insights by checking out the full presentation here.

Chad Burke is a principal at GBBN. He guides clients through the planning, development, and construction phases of a diverse range of projects that have lasting impact on their communities. Read Chad’s insights about the Pillars of Work here.