One aspect that is believed to change following the outbreak of COVID-19, is offices no longer allowing hot desking.
This comes from the British Council for Offices (BCO) paper titled ‘Thoughts on office design and operation after COVID-19’ states that “desk sharing is likely to become very unpopular” unless companies adopt the policy of frequently cleaning desks.
The paper believes that offices will feature adaptations following the pandemic, they are:
- The introduction of screens to protect receptionists from potential virus carrying visitors
- The replacement of gendered communal toilets with pod-based ‘superloos’ that feature touchless doors, taps and soap dispensers
- An increase in bike storage, with workers likely to ditch public transport’s commuter crowds in favour of cycling
- Limits on the number of people that can occupy a space, use a meeting room or share a lift at any one time
- An end to communal cutlery, coffee pots and water bottles
- The adoption of ventilation and humidification systems which create environments that make transmission tough for viruses
Neil Pennell, chair of the BCO Technical Affairs Committee said:
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how we work. While we do not know when we will all be back in the workplace, it’s important to start planning ahead. Adaptations can ensure that the risk of virus transmission is reduced and can accommodate our new reality, enabling us all to gain the real benefits that come from working in an office while ensuring we are safe.
Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO said:
Working from home has provided an effective temporary measure for business, but it is not an effective long-term solution for how we work. We are social beings and we work best together, in an office. When we’re together, we share ideas, draw inspiration from each other and form valuable, long-term relationships. COVID-19 will alter the future of work, however the office will remain at the heart of this future.