San Francisco (June 25, 2020) – stok joins PLASTARC in announcing that it has connected with organizations across the design and construction industries to form the Workwell Coalition. This team, composed of architects, engineers, interior designers, and construction experts, will support companies in developing strategic approaches to navigating the COVID-19 moment, including a post-lockdown return to physical workplaces. Together, the coalition comprises a full set of experts necessary to address the next era of work.
While some cities have already begun returning to offices, there is still much to be done to ensure they can work effectively and safely. Everything from telework practices to HVAC systems, building operations to desking configurations, and training for individual behavior will need to be adjusted. Businesses sometimes consider such components of the workplace experience individually, but now must contend with all of them at once.
In response, the Workwell Coalition has assembled a menu of services for responding rapidly to each client’s unique circumstances. This collaborative approach streamlines the process significantly. “An organization that’s trying to get back into their office needs to move quickly. They don’t have time to put together a new advisory team in the usual ways with bids, contracts, team building, and such,” says Nathan Manuel, Lead Community Strategist for PLASTARC.
PLASTARC, who have been offering office reentry advisory since early this year, led the formation of this group. In a moment of increasing concern over the relationship between buildings and people, their 10-point office reentry roadmap has garnered significant attention. “We found that clients sometimes needed support in areas that were outside of our own expertise in workplace strategy and change management, but that were very much related to the workplace experience. We realized we could have a larger impact if we worked more holistically,” said Sociospatial Designer Amy Rosen.
Fellow members of the Global Design Alliance (GDA), an international network of architecture, engineering, design, and construction firms, saw an opportunity to unite. Leaders of these firms meet regularly to promote change, and they have already collaborated on numerous projects ranging from design and construction to diversity and inclusion initiatives. With a shared set of values and a history of working together, they are well-positioned to fill this need.
The Workwell Coalition builds on PLASTARC’s core workplace strategy capabilities. Including these essential disciplines, it offers both breadth and depth of expertise. Affiliated Engineers (AEI) advises on HVAC and building operations. DIALOG, an integrated design practice, and Lake|Flato Architects guide clients in reconfiguring their spaces. Environmental designer Entro supports organizations in changing behaviors through signage. Experts from stok and EcoAmmo bring sustainable futures to life. Advocates from Zetlin & De Chiara reinforce the team with legal support.
Public health is uniquely shaped by the work of architects, engineers, and designers, as well as by the choices of people in spaces. A successful office reentry strategy must fuse in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of buildings with effective change leadership. The Workwell Coalition is uniquely positioned to support organizations through this challenging transition.