Research has proven that preventing the transmission COVID-19 is easier outside, so companies are adjusting their workplace layouts to prioritize outdoor workspaces.
For EQ Office, reimagining how the workplace operates was happening before the pandemic at two of its Southern California projects.
Just last year, the firm partnered with architecture firm RIOS to redesign the Playa District in Los Angeles. The 1.4 million square foot campus aimed to transform high-rise campus towers into lounges and flexible workspace areas with plenty of outdoor spaces.
Other projects were directly prompted by the pandemic, such as Rosslyn Business Improvement District’s O2. The project has focused on providing businesses and the community with safe outdoor areas to maintain their mental and physical health.
“Investment in outdoor technology will become paramount, in addition to outdoor-designed furniture,” said Mark Motonaga, creative director at RIOS. “I think infrastructure for shading, cooling and heating outdoor work areas will also become more desired.”
Despite many major tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, extending their remote working policies and seeking to cut down on their real estate footprint, designers are still working diligently to make current workspaces as safe as possible.
This means building out terraces, patios and rooftops equipped with Wi-Fi, workstations and other office-like amenities.
Using these spaces in addition to other safety measures like distancing, touchless technology, sanitation, face masks and one-way traffic flow could help bring employees back into the office without feeling at risk.