Trend Forecasting for Commercial Offices...Part 1
Even though we are still under quarantine, I've been thinking and talking a lot about what's going to happen once the crisis passes and we "go back" to work. How will we return to our offices? What will they look like? How can our environment change to support new methodologies and safety standards? Below, please find my predictions for emerging trends for commercial office environments.
Remote Work Continues
The current climate has shown that for many office workers, remote work is a viable option, and one that is here to stay. We think most employers will wisely modify their remote work policies to allow at least 50% of the work week to be spent off premises to increase employee safety.
Continuing remote work policies is a smart business and public health choice. Reduced commuting will help to reduce potential exposure as will smaller office populations. Smaller populations in the same space will also help maintain greater social distance between coworkers, which has become more important than ever.
As remote work expands, dedicated desks are a poor use of valuable space. They are also a sanitary nightmare; strewn with papers and personal items, they are impossible to adequately clean. In contrast, hot desks, must be
emptied of all items at the end of each day, which means they can be sanitized each night for the next user.
In the last few years, the once dominant open office layout has been criticized for poor performance in acoustics, privacy, and general over-stimulation. It also presents serious health concerns in the new age of “6 feet apart”. One way forward with a lot of potential is a return to individual semi-enclosed workstations with a larger footprint. Think Cubicles 2.0, thoughtfully designed and crafted of high quality hygienic materials.
I hope you all find these recommendations helpful, and keep an eye out for part 2! If you'd like to talk specifically about your office, please reach out to schedule a free consultation!
Till next time...