The pandemic will have an impact, with the most important being the acceleration of the transition into a new, dare I say, politics-free, office order.
Spaces will be smaller, technology will be prevalent, innovation will be omnipotent, and design and will be decided by algorithms.
In terms of general trends, the future office will still be a predominantly open space playground for designers who will make creative use of various props such as transparent glass or Plexiglas partitions to effectively protect workers from each other’s potential to infect.
Touchless sleek branded sanitisers of various shapes, sizes and colours that match the overarching décor will be tastefully placed at each workstation. The ratio between standing and sitting workstations would eventually balance out in an interchangeable layout.
There will be no printers, which will allow for more effective use of space in smaller offices.
The reception desk – wherever this is still available – will be removed, as chatbots will have already replaced telephonists. Offices will be wireless, no desktop computers, no landline. Bring your own device.
Meeting rooms will be bigger in some cases, in others it will be a case of increasing their number. Sanitisers will be at the entrance. Personalised tissue boxes will be available and disposable masks and glove kits will be available for anyone who would like to use them.
There will be no canteens, and for the same reason, the watercooler will become obsolete, and once watercoolers dry up, the dawn of a new era, one free of office politics will hopefully arise.