Companies bet on the 'envy office' to lure young workers back

Some companies are working to make their spaces more instagrammable in a bid to attract younger workers back to the office — one that pairs the comfort of a living room with the stylish and glamorous appeal of a vacation, according to The New York Times. 

Reporters with the Times spoke to designers, executives and workers who said the trend, known as "envy office," is not all new, but it is becoming a go-to among start-ups and tech companies competing for young workers. Such offices often feature colorful walls, upholstered furniture and greenery. 

"It's taking cues from home, from hospitality, from Pinterest," Jordan Goldstein of Gensler, one of the world's largest architecture firms, told the news outlet. Gensler has recently worked on these types of office transformations for LinkedIn and Barclays. 

According to a survey of 14,000 workers around the world last year, nearly 40% said their companies redesigned their offices during the pandemic. Experts say many of these aesthetic changes are an attempt to get employees to spend more time back at the office after peoples' homes became their offices when COVID-19 arrived. 

The conventional American office has undergone a number of transformations throughout the years — cubicles to the open table concept, for instance. It's not the first time office aesthetics are shifting and it won't be the last, experts say. 

"If you're looking at the history of the office, you're looking at the history of changing attitudes toward what constitutes work, who workers should be," Craig Robertson, a media historian and author of "The Filing Cabinet," told the Times. "The design of an office is shaped by dominant social values." 

Read the full story here.

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