As workers begin to return to the office some companies are rethinking their office layouts, occupancy numbers and even locations. The new way of working around minimal distance restrictions and partitioned work spaces will evolve.
Power, plumbing, and network routes may need to be updated or completely redesigned. Office layouts that were initially designed to foster collaboration now appear as precarious breeding grounds for contagion. Office designs from a bygone era where closed offices with doors and tall cubicles for single work desk occupancy – which were looked down upon as isolation and divisional, now are being rethought just for the ability to create areas of productive serenity.
Today we refer to these designs as safety barriers and mitigation management enhancement. What’s old is new again……sort of, but not for the long game.
These old design concepts might work as ad hoc quick fixes to get workers back into the office, but their long term use as temporary solutions probably won’t last. As with most solutions, the downside “cost” is always a factor. Time constraints may force intermediary compromises that actually provide substantive data to move toward more long term solutions. A bigger factor for the new era will also depend on some level on how safe and secure the office located worker feels.
Will new designs create an environment of depression and despair, or support an atmosphere of safety and enthusiasm?
It’s foreseeable that office design and functionality could potentially benefit from the shift towards less density and less clutter. The shiny clean industrial look of the new office constructs could be a well-calculated draw for top talent. The touch-less interaction between our computer systems and humans will push the technology in ways many had not yet contemplated for the immediate future.
The digital office assistant and avatar interface to databases of cloud-only restricted access will not only make more efficient use of space and power consumption but usher in more AI and robotic driven solutions where biological frailty has no bearing.
The mobile office of the few quickly becomes the emergency solution for the many. We’ve experienced the work from home site trials and tribulations, but mobility to work in motion will be a more productive option for those who can opt-in. Devices that are simple and cost-efficient such as Chromebooks, iPad, and Android tablets could become more prevalent to supply a workforce that may need to move around the office from workspace to workspace. Your lap could become your new desk. A place to sit all you need to maintain appropriate social distancing.
The desktops, terminal kiosks, and even laptop computers may slowly fade away, even as many companies are scrambling to get more hardware into the hands of workers. The phone and tablet solutions may find this new era as a move towards a new sleeker, simpler mobile efficiency trend.
Slim lightweight devices that can support not just a remote work force, but a workforce that is constantly on the move. Your new work from home or on the road office may just be you and what you can hold in one hand, or even no hands at all. Factor this into your next “BYOD” purchase.
Now the individual worker can have a hand in deciding what devices they want and need to carry around. This is sort of a “Buy-In” to the company vision of the future where working for a company morphs into becoming the company.
What’s good for you is good for the company, and what’s good for the company is good for you. Just make sure you’re in the right company.
Now giving a 100% Plus is good for everyone who shares the same visions and concerns. This is possibly bordering on science fiction, but the future will sort all of this out – provided we commit to the correct algorithms.
These are all things many already practice now. This daunting worldwide event has merely accelerated a few technical eventualities that were already underway and in play for a few futuristic enthusiasts, and now a stressful event has leveraged change to make productivity accessible to many more………..and then the next wave comes and changes everything up again.