See the hypnotic meditation rooms Google plans to add to every office

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When Google employees return to the office, many will have access to light-filled antechambers that are like personal James Turrell sculptures. It’s all part of a broader push to promote wellness in the post COVID-19 workplace. The noise, the distraction, the endless email, and the incessant pinging of the chatroom combine to make the office experience feel like an inescapable onslaught. Throw in a pandemic that spreads most easily through the air in enclosed spaces and the modern workplace can feel more like a stress factory on overdrive. Read Full Story

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These architects popularized the open office. Now they say ‘the open office is dead’

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Clive Wilkinson Architects championed open offices for big companies such as Google and Microsoft. Now, as the pandemic has led to a massive overhaul of work life, they envision something completely different. As a longtime designer of office spaces for big companies such as Google, Microsoft, and the advertising firm TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles-based Clive Wilkinson Architects has helped define how offices around the world look and feel. One of its biggest innovations was a push toward the open office floor plan—the big, wallless room full of clicking and chattering desk workers that optimized the square footage of offices and democratized the workplace. Read Full Story

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REI’s new headquarters are like summer camp for grown-ups

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Complete with blueberry bogs and a campfire. In Bellevue’s Spring District, 20 minutes east of Seattle, a new type of workplace is emerging. Designers at the architecture firm NBBJ have meditated on what the ideal office of the future might look like, and have come up with this: streets in the sky, adaptable meeting spaces, and outdoorsy features like blueberry bogs and a campfire. This is the new headquarters for the outdoors company REI. Read Full Story

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Why tomorrow’s wellness programs will leave out the ‘tough love’ approach

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True employee wellness is not a checklist item. It’s a daily commitment to focus on your team’s self-improvement. As the traditional workplace continues to go through a massive, potentially permanent transformation, many companies are rushing to bring the dynamics of the in-office experience into the virtual space we all now inhabit. During times of extraordinary change, leadership may feel that clinging to old routines is the best way to provide support for employees. However, right now is not a time to uphold the status quo. Instead, it’s a chance to introduce bold ideas that force a positive shift in entrenched corporate culture. Read Full Story

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