The pandemic will leave a permanent mark on how we do business in the United States. Office workspaces are likely to be some of the most affected by COVID-19, as staff continue to work both remotely and onsite. It’s difficult to see these trends disappearing in a post-COVID world. While office space isn’t going anywhere, it will likely look quite different from what we’re used to. Here’s what the Scott Build team predicts the post-COVID office will look like.
Half the Workforce in the Same Space
Many office-based businesses have implemented plans that split their workforces, so half of their employees work at home while the other half come into the office. This has allowed employers to accommodate social distancing without major renovations. If this way of working becomes permanent, we predict employers will renovate their existing spaces to remove unneeded workspaces, add more offices with doors that close, and create areas for staff to meet safely in person and with remote team members.
Keeping Everyone Safe
Concern over the health and safety of building occupants will not disappear once the pandemic has passed. The Scott Build team thinks many of the health and safety measures employers scrambled to put into place are here to stay. Businesses may opt for antimicrobial surfaces for desks, tables, countertops, and door handles. Others might upgrade the controls for shades, lighting, and audio-visual equipment to no-touch options that use motion-sensing, timers, or mobile apps. We also suspect the single, crowded cafeteria or break room may be replaced by several smaller spaces placed throughout the office. Companies may also choose to invest in new HVAC systems that provide hospital-grade air filtration.
Collaboration and Connectivity
When half the workforce is working remotely, collaboration and connectivity at the office are more important than ever. Post-COVID office spaces will have several small rooms where onsite workers can video conference with remote colleagues using audio-visual technologies integrated into the space. Larger conference rooms will also get AV tech upgrades. Low-voltage wiring systems that support collaboration and connectivity will become even more essential to the modern office.
How has the pandemic affected your workspace? If you’re thinking about making permanent updates to your space or are designing new space in the age of COVID, work with the Master Builder. Contact Scott Build today.