Workplace environments are going to look much different in a post-coronavirus world. Buildings will be equipped with sensors that open doors, voice-activated elevators in lieu of buttons and desks will be well-spaced in place of collaborative open office plans.
Some of the less noticable changes will be the uptick in cleaning and sanitization policies, suited-up ventilation systems and UV lights that disinfect certain areas of the office.
With millions of people working from home, many companies will likely downsize their leases or opt for more flexible offices rather than long-term leases.
A new MIT report found that 34% of Americans who once commuted to work are now working from home by the first week of April due to the outbreak. This indicates that this amount of people can work remotely year-round.
Prior to the coronavirus, the shift to working from home had been steadily increasing in the past few years, but the recent transition has pushed this work option into the limelight.
It is evident that employers and employees may prefer remote working even more, but it is also beneficial from a business standpoint. Companies today need to desperately cut costs, and not having the cost of an office would certainly do just that to avoid unnecessary layoffs. The money saved with staff working from home needs to go towards technology resources that make this move easy and keeps employees connected.
“I do think this is going to reshape the workplace,” said Janet Pogue-McLaurin, principal and workplace leader at design and architecture firm Gensler. “Social distance thinking may be part of our DNA moving forward.