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The Post Pandemic Office

While the dust has yet to settle on what the post-pandemic office looks like, one thing is clear. Employees, who began 2020 trudging to the office for the typical 9-to-5 grind but ended it on Zoom calls in slippers from their living room, will expect to retain some of that flexibility.

As offices reopen in 2021, employers of all sizes will grapple with questions regarding the configuration of work spaces, traffic flow patterns, and the long-term balance between work from home and working from the office. Shared spaces and individual working areas are not going to look like or be utilized how they were prior to COVID-19. The buzzwords of the emerging office paradigm are “hybrid” and “flexibility” both in terms of the work week and office design.


“Our focus throughout the pandemic has been to support the safety and well-being of our team members so that they can support our clients and community all while preparing for the future of work.

In this time where our team members are working remotely, we evolved our offices by reconfiguring floor layouts, renovating spaces and upgrading technology to optimize work between office and home.

 

Our new office layouts are designed to encourage collaboration while allowing safe distancing. Writable dividers were installed between each desk, and every workspace is treated with a MicrobeCare coating that protects against germs. We enhanced our cleaning protocols and utilize the highest standard HEPA/MERV filters to enhance air quality.

The hybrid working model is here to stay, but the office still plays an important role. In our future of work, we see our offices as a destination – a place for collaboration, creativity and connection with teammates.”

– Mike Malloy, Chief Amazement Officer, Rock Central

“At Bamboo, we believe the office isn’t dead, it’s bending. The office is becoming more flexible. Work from home burnout is a real mental health challenge we’re all experiencing, yet most do not want to return to a 9-to-5 office lifestyle. Co-working spaces will welcome these remote workers to their communities. Many companies are turning private offices at Bamboo into company collaboration rooms, or purchasing passes for employees to travel into a co-working space once or twice a week to complement working from home.

Co-working spaces operating successfully today have already socially distanced their floor plan, which may remain after the pandemic. Many spaces like Bamboo offer private options within a modern, inspiring, collaborative building. We believe successful co-working spaces will continue to offer this balance of privacy, collaboration, and new hybrid meeting styles for a more flexible workforce in the coming years.”

– Amanda Lewan, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bamboo

“Post-pandemic offices can actually offer greater value to employees and employers than they have in the past, but must be planned in more forward-thinking ways. In a world where work can be done anywhere, offices need to be desirable, well-considered places for employees to do their best work. That means moving away from generic, open-office designs that were focused on supporting work that can now be done elsewhere.

Instead, offices should be diversified, providing a variety of shared work settings to support activities that often aren’t well supported at home such as informal social interaction, creative group work, and places for deep focus and concentration. Just as restaurants can thrive even when people can cook from home, offices can thrive in a work-from-anywhere world when they are designed to deliver great experiences.”

– Ryan Anderson, Vice President of Global Research and Insights, Herman Miller

“At DMS, we will see many changes to our office environment as we migrate back to the workplace. In some cases, we have expanded our office footprint to ensure appropriate social distancing is practiced. We’ve modified some workspaces and common areas to include plexiglass barriers and sanitizing stations. We’ve also shifted our mindset, recognizing that many employees can work effectively from anywhere and may not require dedicated office space. As such, we’ve converted a number of areas to shared office space, requiring mostly remote employees to reserve spaces on the days they plan to be in the facility. Additionally, we will continue to limit the number of people who gather in conference rooms and confined spaces. Our goal at DMS will always be to protect our people.”

– Monica Brand, Chief Human Resources Officer, Detroit Manufacturing Systems