As we cautiously make our way toward working with relaxing Covid-19 lockdowns, many of us are starting to envision a time when we can stop working at home and on our kitchen tables and return to the office. Yet, in the absence of a vaccine, aspects of modern workplaces will have to change if employees are to safely return to their desks.
According to Gensler research, the study that surveyed 2,300+ full-time U.S. office workers at companies of 100 or more people from April 16 to May 4 found that only 12% of U.S. workers want to work from home full-time. Before this experience, only one in ten U.S. office workers had worked from home, and less than a third previously had the option to work from home. The research found that the majority of people want to return to the office. Most people want to return to the workplace, but with key changes to address social distancing.
The study also found that 70% of people want to work in the office for most of their workweek. However, they want to see changes from the pre-pandemic density levels, ensuring there is more space for physical distancing while addressing noise and cleaning protocols.
So what is clear is that the earlier prediction that “It’s the End of the Office” may not hold true, but instead we will be working in offices which would have been remodeled and upgraded to accommodate the worker’s health and wellbeing in light of the ongoing pandemic.
Here is what we do expect to see:
- Companies will have to implement new hygiene and safety precautions
- Distributed offices and rotating days for the staff
- One-way hallways would become common, creating one-way primary circulation paths in the workplace
- A return to 8×8 workstations with higher panels or the addition of Plexi-Glass divider screens — essentially “breath barriers,”
- Touchless technology for doors, elevators, coffee makers, and more
- Use of fabrics and surfaces allowing for more frequent, aggressive, or high-powered cleaning methods
Overall, the harsh realities of the COVID19 world have and will alter the preferences and behaviors of the workforce over time and the office and workspaces to stay relevant they would have to evolve and accommodate that.
Greater Pacific Construction has been a leading Tenant Improvement Contractor in Orange County for nearly two decades. Family owned and operated, Greater Pacific creates the most functional and affordable TI which insures project ROI.
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