As more organizations go back to working from the office, one of the questions on people’s minds is whether or not the workplace is going to be the same after the pandemic. The simple answer is NO - things are expected to be very different with the post-Covid-19 office. According to our Lead Designer at Spacefinish, May Lawani, the post-covid workplace will contain fewer furniture, spaced-out workstations, more collaborative elements and an infusion of outdoor spaces.
Spacing out workstations with fewer furniture means more unconventional areas in the office are going to be used as workspaces. Workspaces that have been designed with flexibility in mind will thrive more as they are already suited to allowing people work where and how they want.
Here are 3 ways we have identified that office designs will evolve:
1. Changed office layouts
Now more than ever, it is time to reassess the configuration of every floor plan in the office in consideration for distancing and safety. This means that it might be time to trade in open-plan offices - which generally have no boundaries and lots of people in one place - for a plan that provides boundaries and reduces the risk of infection.
And for office designs that are somewhat rigid, innovative modification can be placed especially between desks e.g cubicles and obstructive plants should be introduced to block the passage of germs. Another tip to help organizations navigate this is to have people sit at right angles to each other rather than opposite themselves. This way they are better spread apart.
Wheel-able alternative work pods configuration by Spacefinish
2. Moveable Furniture
The furniture of the post-covid office needs to be lightweight, portable, and movable. This will make them easier to clean so that people are kept safe. It will also mean that for heavy traffic days where employees need to consciously social distance from someone else, they can easily move their workspace. Beyond keeping people safe, having dynamic furniture will mean that you can change your office layout and design anytime you want to enhance staff collaboration and ultimately productivity.
3. Outdoor workspaces
As strange as this might sound, a study has revealed that the chance of coronavirus transmission occurring indoors was nearly 20 times higher when compared with outdoors.This means that most offices’ terraces and balconies that have been neglected can now come alive as alternative workspaces and a great example of that is seen in this design we did for a private equity firm.
Converted terrace for a private equity firm
Making use of outdoor spaces will mean that more offices will have places to spread out employees while also keeping them safe. Also, there will be a lot more cross ventilation and access to nature which is of great comfort.