Duke Energy’s 83,000 square foot innovation center in Charlotte opened over a year ago and is filled with open areas and shared desks. The workspace aimed to enhance collaboration and create a flow throughout the office, but in the wake of the coronavirus, those goals seem far-fetched.
Currently, over half of the company’s employees are working from home. Now, as the city of Charlotte begins to reopen its economy, Duke is rethinking its layout.
Although it has no plans to abandon its innovation center, Catherine Butler of Duke Energy corporate communications admits that things will be different.
“The trend has been densification,” said Butler. “So now we might have to back up and go the other direction to de-densify.”
Although wellness has become a big part of office design over the past few years, a new era of health measures will likely be implemented moving forward. Now, companies are looking at implementing visual signage that encourages the six-foot rule, touch-free technology and high-quality air filters to diffuse germs in a space.
For Charlotte-based coworking firm Hygge, founder Garrett Tichy is concerned about changing floor plans as it defeats the purpose of the model it has built.
“If we built walls, it would defeat the entire model we’ve built,” said Tichy. “And, if we create more privacy, why would people pay for that? They could just work from home.”