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What Does the After-COVID Office Look Like?

Posted by RealNex on Jan 12, 2021 9:00:00 AM

2020 has been a revolutionary year for global business culture. The coronavirus pandemic drastically impacted the ways that professionals from every industry operated. In order to accommodate the sudden social distancing concerns for health and safety, companies transitioned to a remote model. 

This widespread “new normal” of out-of-office teams was daunting at first. However, businesses across the board were incredibly adaptive. After months of new tech adoption, digital migration, and video conferencing, many companies generated noteworthy productivity gains. 

While WFH started as a challenge to overcome, remote processes became a learning experience to reshape office cultures of the future. 

As we move forward, it’s clear that the pre-COVID era of offices is over. The future of the office space is up for debate. Office cultures will continue to undergo substantial changes - and all of CRE is wondering what exactly will emerge.

Will offices find a new post-COVID use? The answer is yes. The office sector is already being redefined, taking all of the lessons learned from the pandemic and applying them to a new, flexible, and future-proofed model. 

Here are the trends that will be shaping the after-COVID office space: 

A New Sense of Customization

Expect to see an increasingly diverse office market in 2021 and beyond. Offices are expected to follow individual pursuits. In the past, trends upended individuality within the workspace. Companies sought after the most popular models as inspiration for their offices. 

After COVID, companies are moving away from mainstream trends and towards their own success. Offices will no longer be cookie-cutter as companies look for solutions to their individual challenges. 

The Hybrid Approach Reigns Supreme 

WFH processes are here to stay - but they’ll be blended with in-office workflows. Remote teams and in-office employees will be working together in the post-COVID workplace. Technology will facilitate the seamless connection between separated teams, helping them work smoothly even when apart. 

Continual Promotion of Health and Safety

COVID’s health and safety regulations will only become more sophisticated after the pandemic. Since the initial threats to health and wellbeing emerged, companies and commercial property owners have been collaborating to shape a safer workplace. Technology will be playing a huge role in mitigating the risks for on-site team members. 

Contactless traffic flows, personal office spaces, disinfecting tech, and Smart-powered sensors will all be keeping team members safe when they return to work. 

Shaping Safe Social Outlets

A recent study from JLL revealed that 58% of employees substantially missed their offices. Respondents said that they missed human interactions with their colleagues the most while working from home. These human cravings will be met in post-pandemic offices as the workplace becomes a necessary social hub. 

Offices will be developing safe designs to facilitate social connections between employees. This attention to the human aspect of work will be imperative for building strong corporate cultures in the post-pandemic market. 

Looking ahead, commercial real estate’s office sector will be holding onto the lessons learned throughout the pandemic. These 4 trends will be fundamental to the after-COVID office market.

Topics: blog