"There's a lot more focus on amenities and how to make an office better than working from your dining room table."
New York City office buildings are scrambling for new ways to lure tenants — and their employees — back to in-person work while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.
And among their top strategies is adding amenities reminiscent of the more nature-adjacent lifestyles that some workers may have experienced during the last year and a half such as, oddly enough, rooftop beekeeping classes, The New York Times reports. For example, the Manhattan financial firm Nuveen now has two hives on its rooftop where employees who take the bait can learn to tend to a hive, claim their share of honey, and perhaps even name the queen.
"The pandemic amplified everything," George Blume, a design director at the architecture firm Gensler, told the NYT. "Instead of biophilia being a fun little footnote, it became essential."
[Wicker Man Joke]
Other office buildings have added gardens and terraces, bigger windows, and other nature-inspired amenities in order to make the office a more alluring place for employees to spend their waking hours.
"There's a lot more focus on amenities and how to make an office better than working from your dining room table," CookFox Architects founding partner Richard Cook told the NYT.
Of course, there's the very reasonable question of whether workers should have to return to an office at all. After approximately a year and a half of figuring out how to do their jobs remotely, many workers are reluctant to return to business as usual — especially since the pandemic is far from over.
To that end, the NYT reports that offices that have upgraded their ventilation or can otherwise demonstrate that the air inside is clean are having better luck luring people back in, though natural and outdoor spaces are certainly an added bonus.
READ MORE: Offices Dangle Beehives and Garden Plots to Coax Workers Back [The New York Times]
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