Life After COVID-19: How Can We Work in an Office Again?
COVID-19 has altered life in countless ways, but especially in the workplace. Many office workers found themselves adapting to work from home for the first time in their careers. Millions have spent weeks adjusting to life in quarantine, but one day we will all return to life in the office. The burning question is what will office life look like post-COVID-19?
Whenever it happens, going back to the office isn't going to be the same. While COVID-19 continues to be a worldwide threat, companies need to find ways to make their employees feel safe and comfortable once the virus is under control. Experts predict shifts in office layouts, safety measures, air filtration and hands-free technology. Let's take a glimpse at what working in an office could look like after COVID-19.
What Did We Do Before?
The typical pre-COVID-19 workplace included open floor designs, close seating plans and recirculating ventilation systems. Open offices were created for teams to easily interact and collaborate with each other. However, studies show that interaction isn't a problem in any office design. Studies also prove that open offices are actually distracting, noisy and lack privacy.
Why Doesn’t This Work Anymore?
Open Offices and Densely Populated Areas: Before the outbreak, studies revealed that workers in open offices get sick more often. As a result, current workplace practices would not keep workers safe from contracting COVID-19. In fact, it would allow the virus to spread more easily.
How Can We Replace This Method?
Commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield has become an expert in helping businesses change their office plans due to the pandemic. For instance, the company worked with 10,000 organizations in China when its economy reopened. It also sought information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and medical specialists. Using its research, Cushman & Wakefield created "The Six Feet Office" concept in its own headquarters.