M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal — August 14 - 27, 2020 — 3A


M id A tlantic R eal E state J ournal

By Ellen Shelly, HF Planners, LLC Moving Forward – Post COVID-19:


espite its name, the idea of “post-pan - demic” design is very

vision” the graduation speak - ers were preparing to say). A clear vision is the opposite of

greener, reach another mar - ket, establish a better cul - ture, update or upgrade worn

time to ask what your com- pany wants. In what ways are company goals not being supported? How can office space as a whole contribute to the attainment of these goals? How can unified office design support the happiness of employees? Survival is not just created by decisions in the present, but rather mea - sured decisions in the past that form the foundation of your survival today. Navigating corporate goals through strategy, brainstorm - ing, and stakeholder meetings is great. Navigating corporate goals through office design is the next step. Achieving cor - porate goals and standards is facilitated and promoted through good design. Good design promotes your goals by altering physiologically in- fluential components of your office. Good design can make employees feel more collabor- ative, or more focused on their own work. It can promote a sense of individual owner - ship, or rally team spirit. It can enhance the feeling of

psychological safety. A quick Google search with the terms “employee produc - tivity” and “feeling respected” will yield you 117,000,000 results that drive home the breaking point of our corpo- rate goals. A Harvard Busi - ness Review survey from 2013 found that people who reported feeling respected by their boss were 55% more engaged at work. Now is the opportunity to let employees know that business is reliant on the contribution. Jumping into a redesign in these hectic times can seem intimidating. Here at HF Planners we can help guide you through the unknowns, in order to take advantage of the perfect redesign storm that we are experiencing. From lower construction costs to faster construction time- frames and helping manifest the new company culture; HF Planners can help navigate through these changes. Ellen Shelly is junior interior designer at HF Planners, LLC. MAREJ

r o o t e d i n the present. Which is not a bad thing! It means pro- tecting em- ployees and their fami - lies. At the same time, it

Survival is not just created by decisions in the present, but rather measured decisions in the past that form the foundation of your survival today.

what the state is in right now. So, understandably, many companies are sitting idle; trying to recover from the cur- rent pandemic that just hit from all sides. Not unlike mil - lions of individuals across the country and billions across the globe. Most office spaces feel eerie; like the quiet after the storm right now. Activity is limited to a visit from an employee here or there to retrieve paperwork, or maybe some struggling office plants from their desks. There is abundant talent up for grabs, offices are free of the hustle, and we have a mo - ment to recalibrate. With the slate of normalcy wiped clean, we have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves. Maybe we have always wanted to be

out office space. The time for these upgrades is now. This is the corporate equivalent of the personal New Year’s resolution. Everyone has a different approach to self- improvement. Some project their goals to have friends hold them accountable, oth - ers work internally and only emerge once work has been completed; sadly, many fall back onto comfortable old habits and fail. Now is the time to jump full throttle into redesigning companies and structure for a new future. There is an abundance of studies about what millen - nials do and do not want in an office space. What they do and do not want in an office culture. What they do and do not want in terms of work-life balance. Now is the

Ellen Shelly

is always short sighted for a company to focus solely on the predominant issue that is presently at hand. There is always something else to consider, currently the pandemic that we are facing is opening up a lot of doors; in addition to company ac - countability for the health of employees. We have just witnessed the fastest spike in unemployment in history. Hiring freezes are widespread and indefinite. The Class of 2020 did not hear their com - mencement speeches about having a “clear vision for the future” like we expected (or whatever parallel to “20/20

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