WOULD YOU HANG AT WORK LONGER IF THERE WERE BETTER OUTDOOR SPACE?

#outdoorspaces #workspaces #socializingatwork
What if your workplace had a great outdoor space?
What if it were a place you could sit, talk, eat, even drink?
Some office buildings in Atlanta are creating such spaces.
“With many Atlantans still working from home (because of the pandemic), building owners are expanding outdoor areas to both lure workers back to the office and keep them there for the long run,” says an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the subject. It was published April 11, 2021.
“I think with the events of last year (pandemic), functioning outdoor spaces matter a lot,” the article quotes Kevin Green, president at CEO of the Midtown Alliance in Atlanta. “People need more places to gather and they need more elbow room,” the article quotes Green.
In fact, many office workers, especially younger ones, have come to expect the nice outdoor areas, the article quotes Matt Wilson, a senior associate at Cooper Carry, an architecture firm designing Midtown Union, a mixed-use project in Midtown Atlanta.
Let’s ponder this for a minute. You’ve spent a year working mostly from home to avoid spreading the coronavirus. You’ve gotten rather comfortable not commuting to an office. You’ve been available for your kids as they try to get educated from home. Now, your company is spending the money to lure you back into coming to the office to work.
Certainly, you may be eager to get out of the house and socialize with your buddies at work. Presuming everyone, or most everyone, has been vaccinated, it’s not a bad thought.
But, in past decades, work was a place you would be counting the hours and minutes to leave. In fact, for many, there was a work life, a home life and a social life. You looked for ways to spend more of your time at home or socializing, while minimizing time at work.
Now, your company may be trying not only to lure you back into the office, but also to keep you there longer.
Make no mistake: these office building owners/managers see a real threat to their livelihoods if working from home became a big trend.
But there may be something sinister in this idea. If you want to socialize with your buddies at the company’s outdoor patio, you could be being photographed by security cameras. Do you really want your boss to see what you do, and how you behave, when not on the clock?
Certainly, an outdoor patio is a better place to hold a meeting than a conference room. But how much privacy will you have in that outdoor area? Will you be free to be open with your ideas/criticisms if you were being watched by everyone around you?
Will your performance reviews feature something you said in what you thought was a private meeting?
What if your workplace is toxic, whether indoors or out?
If you don’t see yourself long term at your current employer, there are programs out there that will allow you, with a few, part-time hours a week to start, create a potential income that could dwarf what you are earning at your toxic workplace.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
The pandemic has prompted a lot of employers to rethink how they work, where employees work, how many people and how much space they need.
These outdoor spaces may be nice, but they won’t necessarily change what you do, or how you do it. They could make some interactions more pleasant, but just how much time you want to spend at work may not necessarily be up to you.
Peter

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