Imagining the post-pandemic workplace
Extract from Mix Interiors' article 'Imagining the post-pandemic workplace':
Jonathan Hindle, Group Managing Director - EMEA, KI
During the COVID-19 lockdown, office workers all over the world have had to embrace remote working practices. Virtual meetings, collaboration, even socialising have been made possible by online platforms and cloud technology. But eventually, we will start returning to our offices and the aftereffects along with ongoing social distancing may transform workspace strategies and space-planning for the short to medium term.
People may now feel reluctant to sit in open plan offices and shared spaces. Collaborative spaces, meeting rooms, cafés, even lounge areas could benefit from larger tables and fewer chairs. This ensures people can undertake their work while sitting further apart, while dividing office space with fixed or movable screening helps restrict areas to smaller groups of people.
Increasing capacity to accommodate technology can also be important so having desktop power allows easy laptop and phone charging and supports flexible working. This can be retrofitted to existing furniture, and helps support a phased or staggered office attendance rota.
Acoustics may become an additional consideration if more people are utilising computer-based audio/video communications tools such as Zoom, Skype or Teams. Better audio equipment and acoustic panelling may become necessary to allow multiple calls, or multiple participants to be on a call simultaneously within proximity.