In the past few weeks, our collective pandemic circumstances are evolving to a new normal, and it feels both fast and slow. Vaccination rates, restaurant returns, and travel are all picking up steam. People are making a steady return to the workplace, which is, of course, the part we like best.
We know that humans, all humans, thrive in functional community spaces. From neighborhoods to malls to municipal buildings, people crave a level of in-person interaction. As much as we’ve learned to love soft pants and limited social obligations, we’re ready for the shift back.
The return to shops, universities, and doctors offices is filled with a sense of the familiar, and we think that has everything to do with the form and function of built community spaces. Workplaces are community spaces, too; designed and managed well, the modern office is a cornerstone of contemporary work. People are discovering that while they made do with home offices for over a year, in certain scenarios there’s just no substitute for in-person work. It’s like group nostalgia, and a fleeting sense of archeological discovery, as we fill the places we abandoned a year ago.
That’s why our podcast, “Meet Me In My Office,” found on both Google and Apple, centers on this very subject: Places, and the people that share them. We’ve done a deep dive into airport design (who knew how much thought goes into trash cans?) and sustainability in higher eduction (it’s a lot broader than we assumed). Our goal is to engage our community by investigating the communal spaces and common sensibilities we may otherwise take for granted.
Our upcoming episodes will uncover more secrets of shared spaces, through the lens of the people that conceive, design, manage and use them. We’re onto the inside scoop, the kind of information only a pro could share. A designer who specializes in public restrooms (that would be an awesome job, by the way). A manager in charge of ensuring a safe return to the office. An expert in an under-the-radar industry. Investigating the physical space these professionals work in tells us a lot about the their industries, and their professional purposes too.
This month, we feature our very own fearless leader Mary Frances as she talks about the past, present, and future of the office as we know it. In honor of Mother’s Day month, she’ll also cover what it’s like to raise five children (five, people, FIVE) as a working mom.
We’re coming at the narrative of workplace from all angles. We believe everyone has a point of view worth sharing, so if you’d like to be featured on “Meet Me In My Office, just contact us. Let’s tell a story together.
The burkeMICHAEL+ Team