The Coronavirus pandemic has done a lot of damage to every facet of society, from our personal lives, to the economy, and yes, our traditional office environment. However, that doesn’t mean the end is nigh, nor does it require us to change the way we interact as human beings for the long-term.
With several vaccines in development, the likelihood of humanity getting back to a decent sense of normalcy within the next 6-12 months seems quite likely. Until then, social distancing measures and a healthy dose of caution remain the order of the day. That hasn’t stopped some from declaring a worst-case scenario for the workplace, which is why it’s good to stop and reassess. Here’s 4 myths about the post-Coronavirus era that simply will not come true.
#4) The Rise Of The Remote Age
When Coronavirus hit, and lockdowns were put in place by governments around the world, many businesses switched tactics by leveraging the digital space in order to keep things going. Millions of employees suddenly found themselves working from their home office for the first time, which begged the question as to whether this would be the new norm, moving forward.
In truth, the rise of remote workers had nothing to do with Coronavirus. It was already rising year over year as technology gave companies more flexibility when hiring, and allowed employees to lock into a team from off-site. Many have predicted that the age of the remote worker is upon is, specifically due to the threat of Covid-19. While it is true that the number of employees working remotely will continue to increase over the next decade, it has virtually nothing to do with a global pandemic. Instead, it’s a natural evolution of the existing workplace.
#3) Drastic Changes To Workspace Layouts
Many experts have predicted that companies will need to implement a wide range of radical strategies in a post-Coronavirus world. Some of the more puzzling solutions include One-Way Hallways, the abolishment of Open Spaces, and the axing of company gatherings and parties.
Once again, these are temporary measures, not permanent ones. Humanity has suffered through far worse pandemics than Covid-19, and has always bounced back to normalcy. A mixture of approved vaccines and herd immunity will eventually shoehorn Covid-19 into our regular flu season, according to the CDC. In short, we will adapt, and there will be no need for drastic, permanent long-term overhauls to the workplace.
#2) The Death Of The Shared Environment
One of the more extreme suggestions coming down the pipe is the notion that businesses will no longer share real estate space in skyscrapers, high-rises and other office buildings. This is a far-fetched conclusion, especially since shared business real estate is quickly becoming the new normal, rather than a fringe idea. Companies are going to share space within the same building – it’s simply a fact.
Emptying out skyscrapers and disseminating employees into multiple branches and smaller locations is a cost-prohibitive, logistical nightmare, for a start. It’s the reason most businesses are sharing a space, to begin with. To suddenly upend a major cost-saving measure without the necessary growth to sustain it would be massively counterproductive, and potentially fatal. Remote work continues to play a big role in waiting out the Coronavirus pandemic, and will likely continue until we’re assured of a vaccine and herd immunity.
#1) Touchless Overload
Similar to remote workers, the notion that businesses will suddenly go all-out on touchless technologies due to fear of Coronavirus (or other viruses) is silly, at best. Automatic sliding doors, motion sensing light switches and touchless kitchen/bathroom faucets have been a thing for a while now, and it didn’t take a pandemic for them to catch on.
It’s far more likely these technologies will continue to grow in implementation due to sheer convenience, rather than fear of a viral contagion. Our culture grows increasingly germ-adverse with each passing day, but most people are more concerned about catching the common flu. Expect touchless technology to grow in popularity, but not out of fear.
For more information on how to lay out and organize your workspace to deal with the remnants of Covid-19, while preparing for a return to normalcy, make sure to contact us!