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Post COVID - 6 Ways to Make Your Office More Human

And throughout all this ‘return to the office’ planning, we’ve been thinking about our people. How will they feel? What can we do to keep them safe and connected? Are there ways we can help reduce stress?

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Major PPE, communications with families, social distancing and mandatory mask wearing have all been incorporated into the Lincoln, CA back to school planning.

Along with intentionally planned spaces for focus, rest, learning and collaboration, and intentional social rituals and behavior protocols to support connection, incorporating an intentional sensory program can help create more engaging and comfortable workplaces.

Studies show art as an impactful visual stimulant. When featured in workplaces, artwork is oftentimes viewed as a “positive distraction,” prompting rituals like self-reflection and impromptu socialization. When looking at art as a stimulant, surveys have shown that viewers looking at artwork process information more effectively and share ideas and opinions more openly and freely.

Together with technology professionals, architects, and policy makers, we’re creating a state-of-the-art Interactive Learning Center, located here in San Francisco. One that puts ideas into action, and a place where we can get a glimpse of a safe, connected future work experiences that puts existing technology to work in a way that makes our return to the workplace better than the one we left.

The Bechtel Family Center for Ocean Education and Leadership is a fresh new presence on the Monterey peninsula. And it’s the largest physical expansion of the Bay Area’s beloved Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Sep 23, 2020

Design For Our Future

The number of Americans ages 65 and older has grown by 10% over the past 40 years, and will reach 80 million in 2040. And the group most often needing help with activities of daily living, adults ages 85 and older, will nearly double from 2000 and 2040.

What can we do to help our seniors be their best selves as their memories fade? Is there something we can all do today to make a difference?

What if classrooms could feel more like natural environments, and help make us happier, more connected, and kinder learners and educators? What if returning to our roots, through connection to nature and biophilic elements, could redefine what learning spaces could be?

Maintaining the capability to provide care to residents in their own “home” with dignity and safety is a key tenant to supporting seniors. It will require creativity, innovation and adjustment to senior community design, planning and specialized technologies to accomplish, but the health and social benefits to our growing senior population will be worth the effort.

And throughout all this ‘return to the office’ planning, we’ve been thinking about our people. How will they feel? What can we do to keep them safe and connected? Are there ways we can help reduce stress?

Consider this: before COVID-19, school facilities were only in use 18% of the time. Now, as we potentially face new hybrid models of learning where parents take a more active role in their kids’ education, what will our learning environments become?

One of the most compelling drivers of connection is our sense of propinquity. This is our natural human tendency to develop tight interpersonal bonds with the people or things that are closest to us.