Before the pandemic made huge waves across the nation, CBRE published a report looking forward to 2030 that was optimistic about the future of work. Now, as millions of people are forced to work from home, those predictions have hit us quicker than anticipated.
“The key question for organisations now is not: ‘Can we work from home?’, but ‘Should we work from home and if so, to what extent and what are the implications we need to consider?’” said Lewis Beck, Head of Workplace for CBRE EMEA. “This includes personal productivity, health and wellbeing, employer liabilities, tax, culture, ways of working, technology as well as the design of the workplace.”
Beck added that in the short-term, design and allocation of space will be evaluated under the context of how to prevent the spread of the virus and will emphasize hygienic practices. Offices can keep employees safe by spacing desks and installing sanitation stations.
On a grander scale, Beck anticipates that companies will have to reevaluate how much office space and occupancy should look like. Organizations will need to find a balance between keeping people healthy, while maintaining a sense of community. He said this could likely lead to an increase in office footprint.
In CBRE’s report, it was suggested that employees would become increasingly more mobile and that centralized office design would evolve to boost face-to-face interactions, collaboration opportunities and technology to create a more seamless experience.