Design and technology changes at workplaces in a Post-COVID scenario

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As the health crisis pandemic lingers around, all nations across the globe have experienced lockdowns so as to limit the spread of the novel virus. These lockdowns have defined the movement of civilians and also introduced work-from-home culture. Physical interactions and collaborations have been altered to online meetings and call over skype, Microsoft teams, Google meets, Zoom, and so on.

As per an industrial report, 66% of the employees in India have directly displaced to work-from-home after the outbreak of the coronavirus. Also, about 30% of India’s working population has said that the lockdown has given them an enhanced opportunity to balance their work and life, as much as 41% of them are missing the professional environment. 

Design related changes for Post COVID conditions

As the economy has started to unlock in phases, it is noted how employees are apprehensive about returning to offices. As the major concern being the crowding that holds a social risk of community spreading the virus. The ongoing events have led the organizations to become more sensitive to environmental, social, and governance concerns. The challenge is to adjust their workforces so as to decrease the exposure that persists.

Planning office space will undergo a drastic change hereafter due to COVID-19. Organizations have resolved to adopt measures to support social distancing to safeguard their workforce. Architects are thinking ahead of time to bring in new concepts and technologies to provide a healthier and more sustainable workplace for the future. Occupiers have embraced the preliminary phase to accelerate the short term transition and have started partnering with organizations to plan a safer and informed re-entry at the workplace. Return to work in the preliminary phase will not be what it used to be before the outbreak of the pandemic and for now, social distancing and workplace wellness will prevail.

Technological changes to be embraced

In the contemporary world, technology is quite important in any organization, not just for the networks connecting efficiently and safely employees and company data, but also the wiring of your built environment to understand behavioral patterns beyond space utilization. Technology is the deed that will assure a new workplace includes significant changes in the environment to seamlessly offer customers and all employees the requisite safety at work. 

Advancements in voice-operated technology are included to prevent employees from touching surfaces in shared spaces. This applies to keyboards, touch screens, light switches, door handles, doors, conference phones, cupboards, elevator panels, washrooms. Sensors and voice activation devices will become an element while design considerations. The design plan that will arise would be a human-centric design, satellite offices. The experience would revolve around boosting employee confidence, mobile technology, hot desking options, and flex spaces. 

Before the pandemic situation, employee wellbeing was a catchword upon which few employers took action. They regarded it as extending a gym membership and not much more. However, the pandemic has shown that employee wellbeing is more than an HR catchphrase. Technological innovations at workplaces will be made to become more employee-centric, and hygiene will be a priority and cleanliness a benchmark.

The post-COVID environment isn’t solely about measures that focus on employees, but it is about efficiency, speed, and cost-effectiveness. Organizations need to optimize current stations by making significant moves. The future of the workplace is no longer formed around what has worked, but instead what will work moving forward.

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