While much remains unknown about the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing’s for sure: nothing will ever be the same again.
Here are some of the ways companies’ use of office space will change.
- Companies will rethink the amount of space they need. They will request more flexibility and possibly shorter leases to enable greater agility and readjustment. Some organisations with multiple locations may also consolidate their space.
- They will decentralize and diversify. Many large firms are considering moving away from CBDs in a bid to spread teams across multiple office hubs and enable safer physical distancing. It may also help employees work closer to home and travel by car, which cuts down the need to use public transport.
- We may see more pets in the office. Working from home has been a positive and comforting experience for many people, particularly as they can have their pets with them at all times. To entice people back to the office, some employers are now relaxing pet policies and welcoming dogs into the workplace.
- Greater focus on wellness. People need to feel safe before they commit to returning to the workplace, and a greater focus on wellness will instil confidence in the workforce. This will trigger a “reset” in some companies and a drive for better offices with sustainable, healthy and smart building design
- ‘Zoom fatigue’ will lead to more in-person collaboration. Virtual meetings are keeping the world connected, but they are no substitute for human to human connections. The biggest driver to get people back into the workspace is the need for collaboration on work and projects, which will place more emphasis on spaces for interaction and collaboration.