The pandemic transformed the way we lived our lives. This post focuses on working environments.
It started with work from home (WFH) in 2020. In 2021, Google Trend showed a nearly 250 % increase from the previous year in workation, a term which brings two activities, work and vacation, together. This trend was echoed by travel trends which showed 43% of respondents showing an interest in workation. People extended their holidays to do remote forms of work, preferring a beach office, for example, rather than an office in an urban jungle.
This New Work scenario has its roots in 1997 with a book called “The Digital Nomad” written by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners. Digital nomads are workers who can work anywhere in the world as long as they have access to the internet.
Major motivations for digital nomads are freedom, a change of scenery, avoiding office politics, discovering new cultures, and work-life balance. This last term work-life balance has changed to work-life blending, The former is considered to be difficult to achieve since it involves alloting a number of hours for work, which is separate from the time set for private life activities. On the other hand, work-life blending indicates a blurring of lines between work and life. A healthy incorporation of both is the aim. Work-life blending can work for certain jobs and for certain types of people.
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Travelers who opt for workation look for facilities like fast and stable internet and available electronic equipment. The travel industry responded with destinations that offered high-end facilities for mobile working.
Have you noticed that hotel rooms or airbnbs are offering not only high-speed internet but also more power sockets?
The workation trend has impacted not only the travel industry but also other industries—like manufacturers of furniture, electronics, electrical equipment, and office machines,—who push for innovative designs and systems.
We just came up recently with a video tutorial on how to make one of the things that those who offer workation spaces and even the travelers themselves, would consider a workhorse. Watch Bea make a laptop riser.
Outdoor Working Environments
A new trend in the New Work world is outdoor working.
Digital nomads started it with taking work to areas normally visited for exciting vacations. The hybrid or work from home phenomena brought about by the pandemic saw workers going outside to their gardens or terraces, or visiting parks or cafés to be closer to nature.
Bringing Outdoors Indoors
This blog has articles about biophilia and biophilic design, where the demarcation between interiors and exteriors are blurred to bring nature into our living spaces. This innate desire to connect to nature promotes health, motivation, and productivity.
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One such exciting experiment of bringing the outdoors inside is The Seattle Spheres of Amazon.
The Spheres provide a space to think and work differently, surrounded by nature and the wellness benefits it provides. The Spheres are a result of innovative thinking about the character of a workplace and an extended conversation about what is typically missing from urban offices– a direct link to nature. The Spheres are home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries. —https://www.seattlespheres.com/
Imagine working in such fascinating surroundings!
Bringing the Office Outdoors
Many experts say that bringing the office outdoors is not a fad but will become the standard in less than five years.
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For outdoor working environments to be viable, innovative designs are needed, like furniture with castors that can be wheeled indoors or outdoors as the need arises.
Technology is very much a part of today’s working world. Charging stations for Bluetooth, WIFI and/or VPN access, which can be moved, are also needed.
There are many things that the company has to think about, of course. Think privacy and security issues, for example. What kind of work can be done outdoors and what have to remain indoors?
The first thought I had about outdoor work environments concerns the weather. In a tropical country like ours, what can be done to have a comfortable working atmosphere, temperature-wise? Or when the weather gets stormy, how does one protect furniture and other equipment if these are not waterproof?
Then, I read about this KIENTRUC O office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Since Vietnam has a similar climate to the Philippines, this is worth a read.
The design “employs three criteria in passive cooling methods to cope with tropical weather in Vietnam: heat preventing, heat modulation and heat dissipation.”
If you know about other outdoor working environments, especially those that are located in the Philippines, do share in the comment section.
Two Boysen products come to mind when thinking about the trend of outdoor working environments.
One, KNOxOUT. This air cleaning paint can help lower air pollution in the outdoor spaces. When exposed to light and moisture, KNOxOUT breaks down and converts airborne toxins, including NOx, into harmless substances like calcium nitrate and low amounts of carbon dioxide and water.
Two, Boysen Bug Off. Not only the heat, but also pesky insects could also ruin the work experience. This anti-insect paint is proven to get rid of disease-causing insects like mosquitoes, houseflies, ants, and cockroaches using Artilin Anti-Insect Technology.
If you want to know more about the Boysen products mentioned, please call (02) 8363-9738 local 417 to 418 during office hours. A Boysen technical team member will assist you. Or you can also send an email to email@example.com.