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Some companies make offices look more like home to encourage employees to come back

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way a company in Fishers does business. For years, Mindset has designed office furniture for places like Lilly, Purdue University and Community Hospital.

Now some employers have said when they bring their workforce back, they want the office space to be different.

Many companies are ditching cubicles and desks for couches and kitchen tables.

“It’s evolved, I think, as our mindsets of the pandemic have evolved,” said director of audience development, Hannah Freiherr.

Freiherr said Mindset partnered with Steelcase and MIT to research return to work opinions. According to her, the answers have shaped office design in a way she’s never seen before.

“We first you know looking specifically at how the virus is gonna travel in the space and now focusing more and more on the effects of people being isolated at home, how does this affect people who are creative and need collaboration,” said Freiherr.

One company in Fishers has already made the switch.

Pete Peterson, director of business development at RQAW, said the goal was to make people feel comfortable while still offering a separation of space.

“It’s almost like a living room setting that we’re used to seeing on zoom and teams meetings now than it is an office environment,” Peterson explained.

The mindset showroom is also being used a meeting space for people who haven’t returned to work.

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