How offices are prepping for the return of workers

In the new hybrid work arrangement, expect larger gathering spaces, fewer workstations, and a lot of touchless technology.

One person who does not want to go back to the office. (Souce: NBC/Getty Images)

Don’t get too comfortable with those hokey Zoom backgrounds.

According to the New York Times, 80%+ of companies are planning on a hybrid work arrangement with employees back at the office 3 days per week.

How will things look when workers return, though?

Here are a number of changes to expect, per the NYT:

  • Expanded gathering spaces: Face-to-face interactions is def one thing Zoom can’t replicate… so offices will expand meeting spaces to facilitate safe collaboration.
  • Tech for hybrid work: With many employees choosing to work remotely full time, expect more large screens, digital whiteboards, 360-degree cameras, top-tier sound equipment, and potentially holograms to make it feel like people are physically present.
  • Flexible furniture: Larger common areas will require movable tables, carts, and partitions for different arrangements.
  • Touchless everything: Moving through buildings will be a hands-free experience with turnstiles, doors, and elevators operated by sensors, voice, and apps.
  • Hot desks: Hybrid work arrangements also mean fewer people in the office and the need for fewer individual workstations. Desks will be up for grabs and have to be reserved in advance.

Frankly, we’re cool with all of these changes as long as Friday Beer Pong returns.

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