Workspace closer to nature

In this highly digitised work environment, as the dynamics of working 9-to-5 undergo a massive transformation, so do corporate workspaces. To keep a globalised workforce forever motivated and productive, corporates are refurbishing offices and campuses. It’s no longer about merely adding facilities like multiplex theatres, bowling alleys, swimming pools, gyms, cricket pitches and 5-star canteens. It’s more about incorporating elements primarily inspired by nature to boost energy, motivation and employee engagement levels, while keeping attrition in check. A study by Forrester Consulting (commissioned by Prysm) states that employees seek to continue with their current employer if the workplace is a modern and digitised one. “We believe that natural elements play a major role in creative thinking. We have tried to create spaces that bring our employees closer to nature,” says Richard Lobo, EVP and head – HR, Infosys. He says not only do Infy campuses have a lush foliage, but the buildings are infused with natural light. “The feeling of working in a bright space with uniformly spread natural light and outside views is important,” says Lobo. Experts say ‘working’ as a concept has undergone a drastic change with flexi-working, virtual offices, BYOD (bring your own devices) and work-life balance assuming importance. According to Praveen Rawal, managing director for India and South East Asia at workplace solutions provider Steelcase, giving employees choice and control enhances job satisfaction and boosts confidence. “Work today is both physically and cognitively demanding, and work environments should be designed to help people deal with the stress it causes. Architecture that connects us with nature and natural light, open offices that facilitate communication with colleagues and other overarching strategies provide a great framework for our work environment.” Corporates are thus going about creating spaces where teams can collaborate and share ideas with central zones for project areas, and private areas for discussions and brainstorming purposes. To stimulate sociability, work cafés are getting designed to encourage connections and innovations. “Moreover, corporates need to have spaces that allow employees to work in varied postures such as lounging, standing, perching, or sitting upright,” says Rawal. Moreover, formal cubicles are getting replaced with more open and airy spaces that are clutter-free, well-lit, with minimal décor and funky designs to keep stress at bay, says Smita Gaikwad, SVP – corporate communications & CSR, Hinduja Global Solutions. “The office is transforming into a visual one that brings content, data, video conferencing, live applications and the web together – to create a touch-interactive visual workplace,” says Gaikwad. ...& ANALYSIS To keep a globalised workforce forever motivated, corporates are incorporating elements primarily inspired by nature to boost energy Experts say ‘working’ as a concept has undergone a drastic change with virtual offices, and work-life balance assuming importance Corporates are going about creating spaces where teams can share ideas in central project areas, and discuss in private areas Source: DNA