Open office plans had become widely adopted by companies large and small as they were found to boost collaboration, innovation and creativity. But as physical distancing becomes a significant factor in our everyday lives, businesses are having to rethink their office model.
According to a recent survey from insurance company Prudential, 66% of 2,000 employees believe that their workspace will have to be reconfigured to provide more personal space, while 49% felt that open offices could be detrimental to their health.
Cushman & Wakefield is tackling this issue by using information gathered from the WHO to create its “6 Feet Office” model that showcases what a safe workspace could look like.
“The 6-foot rule in terms of social distancing is really all we have at the moment for protection,” said Bruce Mosler, chairman of global brokerage at Cushman & Wakefield. “People won’t have time to reconstruct their office. They are not going to have that ability. So most of what we are recommending in our playbook you’re able to do at zero cost.”
Tech giants in particular have been cautious about letting people back into the offices, with many allowing employees to continue working from home for the next several months. Twitter, for example, recently announced that it would allow employees to work from home permanently.
Those who are welcoming staff back into the office may look into adopting technology that nurtures a safe workspace, such as StrongArm Technologies which has developed a platform called Fuse that uses sensors to encourage physical distancing guidelines.