Though a complete shift to WFH is not sustainable or feasible in the long run, most companies are adopting a hybrid mode of working. This will give rise to a significant shift in the way workplaces are designed in the future. Short-term solutions include frequent cleaning and air quality maintenance, while long-term solutions will have to include ways to enable hybrid collaborations, strategic relocation of the building’s entry-exit points to avoid bottleneck areas, a rethinking of fingerprint/manual logins, etc.
In future workplace interiors, the inclusion of open areas will be essential, especially in collaborative and communal spaces. Open plans for these spaces will make them more flexible for socially distanced interactions of different sizes. The distance between individual workstations will accommodate the required six-foot spacing, with partitions in between to prevent airborne transmission. Designing new spaces to enable virtual participation is imminent to bridge the gap between employees working from the office and those working remotely. This could mean more screens in conference rooms, pods for smaller collaborations, meeting rooms of different scales, etc.
Additionally, touch free technology will have to be incorporated into workplace interiors. This could mean more sensor-based automatic doors, mobile credentials instead of passcode or fingerprint scanning to authorise entry, and even smart lighting that automatically turns on when it detects an occupant within a designated space. These touch free technologies will also extend to high-density domiciles. For example, The Atelier
, one of our first domicile projects post-COVID-19, incorporates many touch-free technologies to prevent the spread of pathogens, creating a healthful environment.