The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the world, how we design public spaces, and how we use them. As vaccines continue to be distributed and the world becomes more and more open, it is only a matter of time before we return to how life used to be in the office. However, the office environment may be dramatically changed for many returning workers, and navigating them will be different than the way we remember. We will have to redefine the old office culture of crowded meeting rooms, lounge areas, shared cubicles, and long lines at the cafeteria.
The office is meant to ensure the productivity and creativity of employees while encouraging community for our own well-being. Access to greenery, natural light, natural fabrics, and patterns give a soothing vibe to the workspace and have shown to increase concentration and performance levels. The transition to home office in 2020 meant that video conferencing, cloud computing, and other similar digital trends took center stage. People’s work and the way they interacted with each other went in a whole different direction.
The future of office spaces will be more focused on adapting to the new world that we live in since Covid-19. They will need to make an adjustment and design areas that make people feel safe. It will be a brand new approach. The need for modern, flexible office spaces will increase, and just like every other public space, social distancing will be blended into the design. Plants, soft furnishings, flexible room dividers, and desk dividers will continue to rise in popularity because of the shift toward social distancing.
Pre-pandemic offices were known for their care-free arrangements, but now that will change. Future office spaces will be more tense until people feel safe and do not think twice about being around other people. Employees will be scattered into ‘teams’ throughout the workspaces so that there aren’t very crowded areas. Smaller workspaces mean less disruptions with respect to uncontrollable events. One solution for big companies could be to create localized groups that have easy access to clients in their designated area.
Co-working spaces will see subdivisions rather than one big open space. Each business will have to think of healthy opportunities to divide areas for less people. Design-wise, we will see wider corridors, bigger spaces from one place to another, and pockets of spaces where amenities can be shared by multiple people.
Post-pandemic offices will still bring opportunities to grow within a community and increase productivity inside the workplace. However, there will be different approaches to how this will happen to promise the safety of those inside the walls of the office. Our world adjusts to trends in the blink of an eye and will design a way to make the office spaces circle back to how they used to be.