What getting back to the office looks like.
Many office employees have acclimated to working from home instead of the office as the the corona virus pandemic has altered daily rhythms across the world. While each state decides when it will be "safe" to re-open, companies are still readying the office to welcome back employees safely.
The modern workplace will definitely see some growing pains as this pandemic prompts many to rethink how we use the office. Soon the office may become a place for only collaborative work. Employers may have to factor in a second wave of the disease in the fall. Above all, companies are going to have to figure out how to make people feel safe.
Since it's difficult to plan for the long term, many businesses are focusing efforts on short term re-entry. How to quickly and efficiently transform existing office spaces.
Possibly using the reception desk less for check in and more of a station where you take temperatures and wash hands. Installing sanitation stations and overnight disinfecting services. Staggering workstations is a popular idea. There is also talks of implementing soft architecture for work stations. This means placing panels, or sneeze guards atop desks to allow for a more confined work space. Creating what has been coined "Officles".
Conference room density may have to be cut down, with chairs spaced 6ft apart. Directional arrows may need to be placed on the floors. Robust snack assortments may need to be removed for the foreseeable future.
Then there's the actual structuring of workers for re-entry. It is true that moving forward, offices may be able to function safely and effectively under these newly implemented measures. However, many of us have grown accustomed to working efficiently from home, and that's likely to leave a lasting impression. We are most likely to usher in a hybrid work movement: equal parts physical office time and home office time.
This "New Normal" has affected every business a little differently. But it has most certainly affected us all.