What might post-COVID-19 offices look like?

It’s been said that working will never be the same in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been kept in an unprecedented lock down for more than three months and many businesses have had to find innovative ways of working in order to survive such a challenging time.

Many large companies have changed their approach to working already, with the likes of Facebook and Twitter joining Google with enabling more of their staff to work from home more often.

So, with the lock down beginning to ease and bars and restaurants reopening on July 4th, what will the ‘new normal’ look like for us office-based staff? We’ve put together a selection of ways in which workplaces could change.

Socially Distance Desks

Employees could be monitored to make sure they observe the six-feet rule at all times. Cushman & Wakefield

While the frequency with which people can work from home will increase, office spaces will be adapted to cater for those members of staff for whom it is essential to work from the office. One such solution by Cushman & Wakefield (right) suggests a way to keep people at a safe distance while working.

Over the years office desks have shrunk; companies have moved away from hefty hardware in favour of a more cloud-based strategy. This means desktop machines are smaller and often team members are equipped with their own laptops so simply need to plug in and work from a safe distance.

Closed Plan

For decades we have enjoyed working in social, open plan office spaces. It is very possible that COVID-19 may set this trend in reverse with a step back into the closed plan offices of last century. This is not to say we’ll all be working in Perspex cubicles, but we are likely to see smaller head counts in offices and more partitions to keep people in familiar bubbles.

Signage

We’re all familiar with the huge increase in safety signage to encourage us to stay a certain distance apart. We are likely to see this being employed in office spaces across the board; with one way systems and sports hall type lines on the floor. It would make sense to see more signage pertaining to hygiene around offices, especially when it comes to communal areas and keeping desks clean and disinfected.

Rebuild

Given the severity and speed of the COVID-19 outbreak, we predict that many businesses will be looking to renovate their office spaces in line with safety guidelines. We expect to be installing more partitions and creating wider doorways and corridors over the next couple of years as employers look to keep people at a safe distance from each other. If you are looking to make changes to your workspace, make sure you give us a call on 01344 303504 or email us.

Fresh Air

We speak a lot about air quality in offices and now it’ll be more important than ever. If you are lucky enough to work in an office where the windows open, make sure you do just that; good ventilation has been attributed as being key in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Many offices have sealed windows in order to control the climate artificially; with recycled air being prevalent in the virus spread we are likely to see an increase in new, high-end HVAC system installations.

Get in Touch

Remember, if you or your employer would like to speak to a member of our team about your workplace requirements make sure you give us a call on 01344 303504 or email us.

We are experts in commercial office fit-out so, whether you are looking for a major overhaul or simple alterations to your existing workspace, get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Source: World Economic Forum

Image: Halfpoint

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