businesswoman at the office table with computerAlthough it’s always been a part of design, the concept of health and wellness for employees in the office environment has been brought into the center of the conversation. The need to ensure that staff is in a safe environment will be the largest concern once more business return to an office environment.

In a recent edition of Dallas Magazine, Bill Brokaw, an executive from large development company Hillwood Urban, talks about trends he’s seen when it comes to new office design, including several that are planned for northern Texas. The key seems to be making an immediate impact in order to foster the strongest health and wellness possible.

Brokaw talks specifically about Victory Commons One, a 1.5 million square foot project in the Uptown section of Dallas that will be completed by Nov. 2021, making it one of the first in this area to be finished since the pandemic. Among its features are an improved HVAC system and elevators with ultraviolet air purification. This is said to improve air quality and reduce mold, viruses and bacteria.

Other technical aspects include automated doors in most office environments and individual stylus pens for shared technical devices. “One of the more innovative touch-less technology solutions is one that enables the elevators to be operated by a smartphone app, eliminating the need to push buttons,” Brokaw writes.

Overall design is also being optimized. Brokaw notes that companies are shying away from higher-density space. “With the adoption of social distancing, companies are rethinking this design approach,” he writes. “The office layouts are moving to allow for maximum flexibility in planning a socially distant workspace while still promoting collaboration.”

These changes also signal a future trend that Brokaw firmly believes in: the office is not going away. Even with remote working as a factor, eventually more companies will want what an office environment provides as a benefit – just with more safety in mind.

“Employees are making it clear that they want to have a place where they can connect and collaborate,” Brokaw states. “Even though many enjoy the benefits of working from home, remote technology does not replace our need for personal interaction. The key is to ensure that buildings, whether new or existing, are prepared to accommodate those who want to return and be in a safe, healthy environment.”

Johnson Simon has several clients who provide products with a focus on health and wellness in the workspace. Find out more at our website.