As employees get ready to return to their workplace offices must change to accommodate them in a post-pandemic environment.
We share this article by Laura Vierling from Perkins+Will which explores the design requirements of the post-pandemic workplace for the hybrid workforce.
COVID-19 created a paradigm shift for the future of work. We may never return to “normal,” but the crisis taught us to be more mindful of health and safety, and that the workforce can successfully adapt as we navigate an uncertain future. To get to a “new normal,” the traditional office must be redesigned. But as we review social distancing, barriers, and directional signage, we also need to consider work protocols and individual behaviors. In a hybrid workforce world, it’s not only about the plexiglass. It’s about the person.
Even before the pandemic, corporations and government agencies had begun telework policies and flextime to accommodate demands for enhanced work-life balance. Fast-forward to March 2020 when mandatory lockdowns to contain the coronavirus spread turned “non-essential” employees into remote workers overnight. Today, multiple surveys suggest most employees want to continue to work—at least partially—from home. But as many as nine in ten want to spend at least some hours inside a traditional workplace. And Generation Z employees, who will soon become the largest workforce segment, indicate far greater interest in splitting time between home and workplace. Offices must change not only how they look, but how they accommodate a diverse hybrid workforce.