Will decontainment mark the end of the open space?

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the business sector will have to properly assess where workers work and where they evolve. There will be no turning back. Even after containment, the corporate sector will have to deal with the coronavirus and barrier actions for some time. One realization leads to another: office work environments will have to change. It’s a safe bet that open space, those open areas where hundreds of people work in unison, has already been criticized in recent years for its detrimental effect on productivity.

The end of the reign is also being pushed by support for telecommuting by confined employees and the fear of employees returning to these spaces.

For some, open space is becoming a source of anxiety

Just over half of those surveyed believe that the spread of the virus in public places will accelerate its spread. Moreover, 41% think that open spaces are a breeding ground for the disease.

However, keeping them in place will allow them to serve fewer people. It is already possible for companies to go much further in reorganizing.

There is the American open-space strategy, which separates workers by placing partitions on either side of workstations. The advantage is that contamination is less possible.

Disadvantage: Co-workers have no way to communicate with each other in this organization. Disappointing for a group effort.

The “flex-desk” (or no permanent office) is a popular option, in which there are fewer desks than employees, and the desks are used according to those employees’ individual schedules.

Flexible workstations are giving way to dynamic work environments in today’s workplaces.

However, not all employees agree with this strategy. Many people view the office as their personal space, and not having a dedicated one reduces morale and productivity.

It’s true that some companies that have tried to create an environment where the office space belongs to everyone and no one at the same time have actually regressed in their efforts. In reality, it can’t be applied universally; some functions can, others can’t.

Flexible offices, “bubbles,” “conference rooms,” “creative spaces” and “breakout spaces” are all part of the “dynamic office,” which incorporates a variety of work environments. In some cases, the disadvantages of open space and flex-desk can be mitigated by this strategy. In other words, it’s the adaptation of telecommuting to the corporate world.

Get ideas by working from home

Think of your workplaces as living spaces and get inspired by what you do at home to improve your productivity. When you work from home, you like to move from room to room.

Standing in the kitchen, sitting at your computer, lying on the couch and stepping out onto the balcony are all great places to start your day.

We can achieve this level of comfort in the workplace by creating a variety of inviting and welcoming settings that encourage employees to come to work. A company’s salary budget is often ten times larger than its employee wellness budget.

However, this is a terrible miscalculation. To save a few dollars per square foot of workspace and furniture, we often pay the price in terms of productivity.

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