The coronavirus has already changed the way we work. Now it’s changing the physical space, too. Many companies are adjusting their offices to help employees feel safer as they return to in-person work, like improving air circulation systems or moving desks further apart. Others are ditching desks and building more conference rooms to accommodate employees who still work remotely but come in for meetings.
Architects and designers say this is a time of experimentation and reflection for employers. Steelcase, an office furniture company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, says its research indicates that half of global companies plan major redesigns to their office space this year.
Some office changes reflect a new commitment to hybrid work by prioritizing meeting space for remote workers, while others aim to allow workers options for where they work while they are in the building, letting them choose between small private rooms or open group spaces.
One example, Valiant Technologies, which provides tech support and other services to businesses, is letting its employees work primarily at home but has them reserve a desk for the days they want to come to the office. The New York company has removed rows of desks and put more space between the remaining ones. Read the full story.