5 Things You'll Never See in Your Office Again After Coronavirus
How will COVID-19 change your office and the way you work?
The world is bracing for a "new normal" after the coronavirus, which will change much about the way you live your life—including the office culture where you work. From the way employee desks are set up to how you get on and off the elevator every day, your office will face drastic changes once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. In other words, don't expect things to be the way you left them before going into quarantine. Curious as to how exactly your day-to-day will change once you stop working from home? Read on for all the things you won't ever see in your office again after the coronavirus.
No more crowded elevators
Offices will most likely start incorporating strict elevator rules in the wake of COVID-19. To keep up with social distancing, only a few people will be allowed on an elevator at a time. And that crowd of people huddled in the elevator waiting area at rush hour will likely evolve into a more organized, adequately spaced out line.
This change will have its pros and cons post-coronavirus—you won't have someone breathing down your neck in the elevator, but you'll also spend more time getting to and from work each day. And to see how public entertainment spaces will change after coronavirus, check out the 5 Things You'll Never See at Movie Theaters Again After Coronavirus.
No more communal coffee stations
Kitchens and coffee-break rooms are breeding grounds for germs and worker interaction. Even if the coffee pot stays, it's unlikely you'll be able to pour it yourself or use your regular communal mugs, milk, or cutlery. WeWork, a global shared workspace company, issued a report on their post-coronavirus office plan, which will incorporate disposable, single-use cups, cutlery, and milk. However, it's likely this solution will become too costly and companies will opt to just end the operations of communal coffee stations.
No more water coolers
Your plan to exchange office gossip with your favorite coworker at the water cooler when you return to work probably won't come to fruition post-pandemic. As Artesian, a bottleless water solutions company explains, "traditional bottled water coolers utilize an open system, allowing bacteria to enter the water while sitting stagnant in the holding tank."
So, unless your company already has a bottleless water system or is willing to shell out the money to upgrade to one, it's likely you won't see a water cooler in your office when you come back.
No more open layouts
If you're used to working in an open office layout, you should probably expect some changes once you return to work. Cubicles will almost certainly make a comeback, but even if your office doesn't go that far, you will probably have barriers created around your individual work area. This will help minimize direct employee contact, as well as spreadable droplets being passed around from sneezing or coughing. And for all the places you should steer clear of even after emerging from quarantine, check out the 14 Places You Should Still Avoid When Lockdown Ends.
No more small conference rooms
While large conference rooms may have the opportunity to stay open—assuming it's possible for employees to keep their distance from each other—smaller meeting rooms will likely be eliminated to avoid close contact with others in a confined area. Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate company that helped workers in China with the transition back to work, urged companies to "prohibit shared use of small rooms by groups and convert to single-occupant use only." Not only that, but they also advised companies to get rid of shared supplies, like whiteboard pens and erasers.