To quote from the Viatechnik article ‘The Agility Factor in The Post-COVID Environment,’
“There has been a fundamental shift in how human beings live, work and play.”
We cannot move forward and pretend 2020 never happened. Although it is commonplace to hear people talk about the anticipated “post COVID” world or more frequently, the “new normal.” But changes were constant before COVID hit us – all you need to think about is the latest smart device and how outdated your current one is to show how fast change was happening. If anything, the pace of change is likely to accelerate once we move on from the pandemic response mode.
We need to change our mindset – there is not going to be a “new normal”, there won’t be a “next normal” there will only be change. Demanding agility, which will determine how quickly we respond.
One of the significant results from the pandemic is heightened personnel safety concerns. Management and staff are more aware of their surroundings, how close their colleague sits, access to sanitizer etc.
While the majority of workers share expectations of an eventual return to normal, they are preparing for something different. They are preparing for a world in which the possibility of pandemic events is always just around the corner. 96% of Viatechnik’s survey participants say they have either made or are in the process of making a design change to their working spaces as a result of COVID-19. The design change will allow for agility (the ability to respond rapidly and flexibly) if another pandemic occurs.
Some of the design changes include:
- More generous spacing to allow for social distancing (76%)
- Wellness screening (67%)
- Virus resistant or easy to clean surfaces (58%)
- Workplace dividers (57%)
- Adaptable spaces and walls (52%)
The future of the office
There are two strong opinions on the future of office spaces.
Demand for office spaces will increase as each worker will demand more space.
Demand for office spaces will decrease as remote work will become more prevalent.
A prominent office developer said they had changed the approach to office development by using less permanent infrastructure – fewer glass walls and moveable partitions to create modular designs. With equal importance to flexible an office, is health and wellness centric designs – including a focus on biophilic designs and touchless technologies.
Many people are choosing to move from highly populated cities to the suburbs; this relocation has increased the need for co-working spaces. Developers are turning old warehouses into operational co-working facilities.
As a noise control company, we also needed to demonstrate agility. We have adapted our products to support more web-based meetings introducing Calando Booth and Calando Desk. We have seen a rise in demand for products such as ECO Flex, a freestanding panel system that combines flexibility, acoustics and aesthetics into the one innovative panel. The panel assists with upholding social distancing rules, creating unique spaces and improving acoustics.
While offices prepare themselves for a world where another pandemic is just around the corner, we can help you be agile, protect your personnel and continue to operate throughout a variety of changes.
Open offices, co-working spaces and working from home all present a different threat to personnel. That threat is too much noise, causing distractions, loss of productivity and miscommunication.
Our products have the functionality to help you achieve social distancing, and protect employees from noise and lack of productivity.
For more information, please contact us today – we are happy to work with you on your office challenge – whether it be noise-related or for partitioning.