Re Imagining and re-tooling the office format: practical ideas and thoughts

Random hopeful thoughts for the post-surge-yet-no-cure-or-vaccine re-entry world (from my limited lense of working in an office).

1 – Marissa Mayer: 0 / covid19: 1

This whole trend of banning telecommuting was a fail from day one (sorry Marissa, I’m blaming you) and my hope is to see that artificial corporate diktat fade away. How about adopting hybrid models where folks can work from home a couple times a week. Trains and elevators won’t be so overloaded, there will be less co2 emissions, and people will be more productive and have a better work life balance.

2 – No more ‘martyrs’ who come to work when they are as sick as a dog

This other corporate trend of coming to work even when the person is depositing droplets and spaying aerosols everywhere, especially in an open floor plan era where you cannot hide away from said martyr, will hopefully be over.

There’s nothing noble about not staying home when you are sick!

Although I can predict the uber zealous martyrs will come to work with a mask on to elevate their martyrdom to new levels…eye roll…

3 – Speaking of the open floor plan…

I have ambivalent feelings about that one.

On one hand I like the creative environment it creates. Many great discussions have ensued from that format. Friendships have formed.

But all of us have watched those cool simulations that show that even the six foot distancing rule is archaic at best and makes up for some funny Facebook memes…

Constantly breathing Clorox wipes is not exactly sustainable in my opinion.

What to do? This is a time to shine for office plan designers! I’m sure cool concepts will emerge because that’s what we do humans. We constantly evolve and create new designs.

What about cocoon-desks? You could open and close as needed, to either signal you are available for discussion or you need some social distancing.

Bottom line is: it’s time for humility and for dropping unpractical trends, but also time for creativity to shine.

Be well!