Since the pandemic, how do you continue to “create inspirational spaces where people can come to work feeling safe and leave feeling fulfilled?”
This is just one of the questions geniant + Eastlake Studio asks themselves about both their projects and their own office. These questions, in turn, led to the firm conducting a study on what a “post-Covid” space might look like.
Image courtesy of geniant + Eastlake Studio, Kendall McCaugherty, and Hall + Merrick Photographers.
Path to Wellness | Post-COVID Priority Shift
A survey sent to colleagues, clients, and collaborators clarifies to the firm that physical well-being and mental well-being are more important than ever before.
This leads to the firsts steps on what they call a “Path to Wellness.”
The research looks into the impact of wellness on day-to-day life, from a daily commute all the way through the workday. It’s clear that wellness practices — examples of which are present throughout this post — are taking priority to the traditional workplace goal of efficiency.
The report mentions considerations like circulation paths, the distance between desks, and even the use of materials that are easier to disinfect as important parts of the “Path to Wellness.”
Image courtesy of geniant + Eastlake Studio and Hall + Merrick Photographers.
Perhaps most interestingly though, geniant + Eastlake discusses wellness rooms in their report: “These rooms provide space for mental and physical breaks, and private space for nursing mothers.” Function dictates form — for example, a room for expectant mothers requires different elements than a space for mediation.
Design Solutions | Promoting Wellness
The firm’s study explores a variety of specific design solutions for the post-pandemic office.
First, spatial dividers serve as a “straightforward way of defining special zones, and serve architectural, aesthetic, and wellness purposes.” These dividers can be made of a variety of materials, depending on the aesthetics of the space you’re designing.
The dividers can also be more functional, working as shelves for storage or padded barriers improving a space’s acoustics.
The study also covers specific finishes, hardware, and even biophilic design.
Image courtesy of i29.
The importance of biophilic design, as the firm puts it, is that “plants, sunlight, outdoor space, and natural surfaces like wood and stone, and the presence of water can positively change the physiological and psychological impacts that the workplace has on us.” Biophilic design elements can improve blood flow, cognition, stress levels, and more.
The Changing Office | Rise of Remote Work
In addition to health and wellness, there’s a new need to make an office feel special. “The office will be a special destination for workers, not necessarily a daily occurrence. More and better social spaces will be vital as remote work increases,” the firm’s report states.
But to the design firm, the most important consideration to make when designing an office is to account for the inevitability of change. Interior spaces need to be able to adapt to the needs of the individuals living in the space.
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If you’re curious to discover how geniant + Eastlake Studio’s research culminated, you can read the firm’s full case study here. And to learn more from the firm, click the button below to watch their free webinar on Vectorworks University:
For additional reading, check out these blog posts on wellness-focused designs: