Office-like campus buildings with outdoor grassy spaces that merge into indoor spaces.
Transformation of cubicle farms into a motley mix of private work areas and collaborative spaces.
Robotic agents who deliver packages to people’s desks, so they don’t have to scrounge through everyone else’s things in the mailroom
These are just some of the situations that people have shown me in recent weeks as I ask them to finally imagine the workplaces we will be returning to.
While COVID has punished optimism in the past, there seems to be a reasonable chance that some form of normalcy will eventually resume this year.
What have we learned from the mechanisms we have developed to tackle the crisis that will lead to long – term substantive change?
Over the next few issues, I will outline what experts are telling me and the role that technology will play in the new routine.
The whole workplace is bound to become more shared as fewer workers return to a desk that can call on their own five days a week.
Interfacemodular floor developer, adopted desk booking system for all personal workspaces and some meeting rooms. It allows the company to selectively activate workstations based on usage and remoteization requirements.
It required some underused space, expanded areas of cooperation, and met safety guidelines without removing furniture. A spokesman said more than three-quarters of employees who responded to a survey said they were comfortable returning to the workplace because of the arrangements.
Incidentally, the desktop reservation system market is exploding and there are more than 25 different options available. Keith Shaw’s global computer post an excellent accurate piece last summer.
Workspace design firm Duda | Paine Architectspredicting a boom in outdoor work options for people who want the peace they enjoyed working on their deck.
Outdoor spaces will be designed for year-round use and will include a wide range of crops, canopies, trellis, windbreaks, sunshades, and plants to reflect that “backyard” feel.
Inside, Duda Paine expects the use of phased air filtration technology along with touchless controls for physical access, bedrooms and elevators, and much of it focused on smartphones.
The firm also expects many companies to strengthen links with residential facilities, restaurants and retail outlets, making it more convenient for employees to mix up their work and home life as they did during locking.
Some of the most significant changes are the way people get together, says Larry Gadea, CEO and founder Delegate, a workplace technology maker. Conference rooms will be refurbished with more noise-canceling headphones and large screen TVs to accommodate large scale video conferencing
But one staple of on – the – spot meetings – the whiteboard – is unlikely to make the cut, he said. “People are learning how to use iPads for drawings, so remote can also be included,” he said. “Invest in the physical and the distant.”
Hub and spokesperson
The expected bloodbath in commercial real estate never completed, while occupancy rates remain low, the sector is expected to recover primarily. But in a different form.
Ryan Chambers, Senior Director of Consultancy Services at a commercial real estate company Cross countryhas proposed a new approach to workplace design based on a hub-and-spoke model and traffic monitoring software to reduce commuting times.
Rather than placing all employees in a central office, it suggests that organizations can deploy a network of geographically dispersed sites that are more convenient for employees.
Locations are determined by linear programming models cut to reduce the distances.
One Houston-based Transwestern client experimented with this approach by leveraging the Google Maps API and cutting employees’ average commute time from 31 minutes to 18. More importantly, the percentage of workers deemed to be at risk fell high smoking cessation from 19% to 2%.
The hub and spoke model can also establish a more efficient approach to recruitment by locating offices in areas with the highest number of jobseekers living within 30 minutes of commuting.
Chambers believed that the technique could more than double the potential pool of labor for some urban employers.
Adaptable, secure and stable connection
An incoming and outgoing workforce creates technical challenges Essensys addressing a global private network that can be subdivided into multiple private networks on the fly.
People get a secure, stable connection without logging into a VPN, no matter where they are in the workplace, even if it’s an office a thousand miles away.
While there may be fewer people in the office on any given day in the future, that does not mean that fewer people will spend at least some time there, Delegate Gadea said.
“What people look for in office is to be with others,” he said. “Empty does not create culture.”
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It’s time to imagine the new workplace
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