Modern business has moved a long way from industrial era manufacture and open plan cubicle farms: now more than ever health and well-being takes priority over people toiling for a set period of time for a certain number of days a week.
We have all had to make major changes in the last few months. We are truly living in the computer/information age, finding ourselves working remotely, in spaces that may be familiar but not really designed for us to work at our best.
These workspaces may not present the health and safety challenges of an office space, but keeping healthy and engaged is still (if not more) important.
When we think about tackling issues in traditional office spaces we look to HR to provide the guidelines as to what checks to do for workstations, how we discipline, praise and look after staff, and define what a ‘legally’ good workspace is.
You know that feeling when you walk into a good space, your body and senses just know and let you can tell whether it is a productive, healthy engaging space in the same way that you know that a house is the ONE of the hundreds you’ve looked at that is best for you?
All too often the actual quality of the working environment becomes a tick box exercise more than an integral part of the operational resource for many companies, and this is where persistent issues occur.
Biophilic design and the power of nature begin to show their true colours in companies struggling with high staff turnover, poor engagement and high sickness levels.
For many businesses this is a very difficult time, but as we continue in this locked down world, I am finding more and more success stories cropping up. The common link between them is that companies in the stories all have a strong and long standing focus on nature, sustainability and human-centric design.
These companies appear to have weathered the storm better than most, with some needing to make very few changes to policies and operations, as their operations are already harmonious and safe, even in times of a global pandemic.
I am currently working on a project with a very exciting company that really understands the integral link that we have with nature. Everything they do is sustainable and their desire to take things to the next level is impressive. During lockdown they have actually never been busier, with sales growths through the roof.
According to one survey, 67% of Britons feel that a green recovery is the only way to go. We all know that money talks, and those that have it will do everything to protect it, but this is about the time that we actually learn from our ‘green’ business peers. Surely being rich regardless of the collateral damage is something we should’ve left in the early 1900’s?
All of this makes me wonder whether it is sheer luck or considered action that has placed companies with a green approach in the strong positions that they are now. What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and what ideas you have for your own businesses and lives that will propel us out of the information age and into the pages of history as the generation(s) that turned the tables on the destruction of our habitat.