What will the look and feel of offices be like?
As we transition into our 'new normalilty', the new office workplace will have to be more flexible, less crowded and importantly, easy to clean.
High density co-working or hot desking spaces will just not be acceptable, employees will want to feel confident and secure that the desk or space they are going to work at is safe, hygienic and “theirs” for the day or week. This doesn’t necessarily mean a return to dedicated desks - new building density rules would make this impractical, however this could be achieved by using smart desk management systems.
At the end of the working day, it will be vital to implement a clear desk policy so that both above and below the desks can be cleaned thoroughly. Each employee will have their own work tools like keyboard, mouse etc that they will need to transport and stow away in their own personal safe space.
How do you foresee office culture changing as we emerge into our new normal?
This is a really interesting question. Office culture pre-pandemic could be quite hierarchical and “cliquey”. It was easy for groups and boundaries to form. At the moment, with everyone having to communicate via video conference, we have seen a great levelling of cultures. We seem to be more human, more honest and actually more connected on a personal level.
As time has gone on, we spend more time at the beginning of the meeting just chatting, finding out more about each other and dissolving boundaries. By talking to each other more, we are humbler and understanding of each other’s circumstances. We are more flexible. Post-pandemic; can we maintain this?