20A —January 21 - February 17, 2022 — 2022 Forecast — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


2022 F orecast

By Caroline Shelly, HF Planners Workplace wellness in an ever-changing work environment


Remote?” They determined that everyone must become a master at technology and the use of virtual communications which proves that it is even more essential that the work - place be set up for success in the hybrid model when teams do come together. Setting areas aside for collaboration with whiteboards, team set - tings to help facilitate discus - sions, access to project files via a server, and comfortable one-on-one environments for in-person catch-up meetings can, and should, be included in this working model, as well as creating safe neighborhoods for departments, when they re - turn, with enhanced cleaning protocols. Not all departments work well in hybrid mode, so it is important to engage the Human Resource team to cre - ate new policies that address all concerns. 3. Identify signs of chron- ic stress and burnout re- lated to the pandemic. Employees that maintain an “out of office” illness and are re - luctant to rejoin the team and show signs of a distinct with - drawal should be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Maintain - ing a regular schedule for both in-office and remote work is key. This will help set an ex - pected schedule to manage the workload. Whatever policy is determined to work best needs to be approved by the Human Resource department therefore the policy can be replicated across the company. 4. Become aware of differ- ent advances in health and well-being guidelines for buildings such as the FitWel and WELL certifications. Major advances have been made to ensure new and ret - rofit construction is conducive to a healthy environment. Where the LEED certification revolved around the building and infrastructure, FitWel and WELL certifications take the occupant’s well-being into consideration. Design elements to include in the workplace are unobstructed views to windows for daylighting, increased air - flow through open windows, access to various elements of nature, and enhanced HVAC systems to bring in fresh air. Also included are areas for ac - cess to various types of work - ing spaces: “heads down” work, collaborating, and private conversations. continued on page 22A

s we look back on 2021, it is clear that the pandemic, which

physical space be addressed, but also the mental health of employees needs to be taken into consideration. The im - pact of virtual meetings, lack of in-person connection, and increased use of technology have accelerated the burnout amongst employees. While assisting corporations on creat - ing a Workplace Strategy, HF Planners, LLC has uncovered the following needs within corporations that should be dealt with in order to have a successful workplace wellness program; 1. Create a corporate

voice their concerns. Regular communications, via emails, town halls, and accessibility to the communications, via a general server, are crucial. 2. Identify individual de- partmental needs for Hy- brid Working Policies. A hybrid workplace acknowl - edges that remote working can be successful, but also realizes that face-to-face communica - tion is essential to the success of the business. A Forbes, Inc. article from April 2020, asked: “Is ‘Management by Walking Around’ Still Possible When Everything Is Digital and

wellness program that ad- dresses employee engage- ment, use of technology, in-person protocols, clean- ing practices, and a flexible working environment. The key to success is having buy-in from the executive level down. New workplace strate - gies must be communicated and reinforced to all employ - ees to ensure their safety and health is top priority. Devel - opment and deployment of a company-wide survey will help gather pertinent information as well as let employees know that they have the ability to

s t a r t e d i n 2020, is still m a k i n g a h u g e i m - pact on the well-being of emp l o y e e s wi thin the wo rkp l ac e . Astute busi -

Caroline Shelly

ness owners and facility man - agers are realizing that they must modify the workplace to ensure a safe and healthy en - vironment. Not only should the

Finding Your Way Back to the Office When your team is returning to the office, signage and wayfinding is key when establishing new protocols. The team at HF Planners, LLC can help implement proper signage for your office to alleviate any confusion employees may have and improve the chance that new protocols will be followed.

3322 US22-W, Suite 1005 • Branchburg, NJ 08876 908.393.9984 • www.hfplanners.com Facility Planning • Facility Design • Facility Management

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