Returning to The Workplace; Office Space Trends to Expect Following Coronavirus

Coming out of an almost six-month global shutdown, many are eager to return to a normalized schedule, a physical office environment and to regain some of the coworking friendships they may have temporarily lost during quarantine. Yet the troubling factor for many is how legitimate will office safety be the months following the government reopening. What are some trends we can expect? What will the physical landscape of the indoor office look like? All very important concerns, that luckily, have some answers.

If you’re a Los Angeles resident, whether you’re returning to work in Sherman Oaks, Anaheim, or even Beverly Hills, most likely, your office space has you covered from COVID. As one of the most affected cities in the US, Los Angeles has been extra careful in recent months to safeguard employees, essential workers, and the public from passing and contracting this deadly virus. From shutting down beaches and parks to requiring face coverings before entering into stores, restaurants, and places of business, the city has taken considerable measures to flatten the curve and protect its people from these real health risks. The city has also sent health officials around to places of business to hold restaurants accountable and ensure patrons are safe and healthy. When it comes to offices, there have been a considerable amount of changes, updates, and evolutions to our normal 9-5 work environment.  Below, we’ll take a look at all of these new trends circulating the work world.

Furniture, Appliances, and Finishes

In attempts to update the office with enhanced safety precautions, many businesses are investing in new appliances that offer a more streamlined approach to use such as Nespresso coffee maker pods machines, hand sanitizer wall mounts, and keyless entry systems. These updates with help reduce the overall need to touch and infect shared spaces and necessary communal appliances. Additionally, you can install new furniture with materials that are easier to clean and disinfect. Leather, pleather, plastic, and other synthetic materials for furniture tends to be easier to wipe down and clean without ruining it compared to cotton, suede, or velvet, for example. Material finishes are also very important to consider. Glass walls for office and glass office partition panels are all great alternatives to normal painted walls or even acrylic glass that is more porous and therefore, harder to disinfect and clean. There are all trends we see starting to evolve out of the crisis.

Office Partition Panels

Safety Checks

New mandatory safety measures and checks will become common practice entering any shared work environment. Things like daily temperature checks, crafting a weekly employee staggered schedule, and requiring face masks for entry are all ways that employees can improve their safety and keep others healthy while also reducing the risk of contracting the virus. While these new measures may feel overbearing and uncomfortable at first, they are well-intended and are an integral facet in flattening the curve and keeping people safe. Workers are looking to return to the office, but they’re also looking for peace of mind.

Spatial Design

Reimagining the office environment to meet the new normal will look like a few different iterations. First, we’ll start to see wide, open floor plans with spaced-out seating, and a lot of empty desks. Secondly, it’ll be completely enclosed offices within a larger floor plan, using large sliding glass dividers and office partitions to create a separate-but-together feel. These closed offices will increase separation, reduce physical contact, and cap airborne contamination. Most people will feel the safest within their own closed-in office and free to relax and breathe openly. Last, we’ll see the transition to “hot desks” in larger co-working facilities such as We Work and Blank Spaces. These open-air environments offer individualized office desks that afford the physical separation workers crave while creating a group dynamic without the inherent danger of close proximity.

Picturing how office environments will begin to metamorphosis and adapt to a changing world can be understandably difficult. The communal shared office experience we were all so accustomed to may not be something we can look forward to anytime soon. The good news is there may be a bit of normalcy returned to our daily lives with returning to an in-house work routine and with certain businesses gradually reopening. While we may not have a defined end in sight to this pandemic, we can safeguard ourselves to slowly flatten the curve and come out of this crisis for good.

Transition your workplace into a safe, welcoming work environment by integrating new techniques, safety measures, and spatial barriers for everyone to benefit from. A “separate but together” floor plan will become a crucial element throughout this reintegration process to safeguard everyone in the office moving forward. Visit Space Plus, A Division of the Sliding Door Company online for more spatial inspiration,  to view our online catalog, and to Get a quote from one of our professionals today.

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