The unprecedented disruption caused by Covid-19 has encouraged companies across the globe to explore new work models ranging from pure work-from-home to hybrid working models and gradual return-to-work. While many have enjoyed the new experience of remote working and the flexibility it offers; others undoubtedly are feeling quite stressed, isolated and fatigued by the diminishing barriers between professional and personal lives.
No matter what option one may be operating from, the ‘New normal’ post Covid-19 has certainly changed the way most people lead their daily life. New work trends which focus on ensuring employee wellbeing both at a physical level as well as improved emotional health are gaining prominence amongst organizations.
What is interesting is that this concept of employee wellbeing is no longer restricted to traditional programs of health & wellness sessions / sports activities, extending top-tier health benefits, child-care facilities or other work-life balance programs that employers may have traditionally used as their strategy to enhance workplace happiness.
The concept of wellbeing in the post-Covid era is fast reinventing and has far-reaching ramifications that extend beyond the boundaries of nice-to-do employee engagement programs and HR policies. While all of these traditional methods are required to tackle increased employee stress and burnout, it is equally important to re-energize our physical office spaces and help create a more efficient and effective working environment.
It is no longer enough to simply have an office space alone as employees in the new era want a whole new generation of amenities that support their overall physical and emotional well-being. They are wanting to return to work spaces and surroundings that are safe, healthy, green and help them feel reinvigorated in every possible way.
Offices in business locations which have a vast greenscape, access to natural light, higher walkability factor, low density, well designed spaces for social interactions in a safe & sanitized environment, outdoor café’s and places to hang out after work, will have an edge over the others and will fast become preferred locations of choice for businesses to operate from.
The perceived higher cost of real estate will no longer hold back decisions favouring such prime locations as forward-thinking leaders have begun to realize that buildings which are resilient and pandemic-proof help boost engagement and bolster employee satisfaction – all leading to higher productivity, employee wellness and sustainable business performance.
The phenomenon of ‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Big Quit’ that we see today in countries such as the U.S. in response to the pandemic, though has not yet impacted India much, but is a sign enough for businesses to start reimagining their workspaces that are more social, collaborative, adaptable and increasingly technology-enabled.
In this new War for Talent which we are likely to see in the future, having a ‘Great Location to Work’ will hugely facilitate employee ‘Wellbeing’ and will remain critical to achieving sustainable business performance in the post-Covid world.