Return to Office: 5 Predictions for the Workplace after the Pandemic

For the majority of white collar office workers, working from home has become their new way of life over the course of the pandemic. Now that vaccinations are underway, it’s time to start thinking about how the future of office work will play out in a post-pandemic world. 

Business owners and office managers need to come up with feasible solutions to ensure the well-being and peace of mind of their employees as they prepare to return to the office in some capacity. 

 Workplace after the Pandemic

Experts predict that, at least for the foreseeable future, many office workers will operate on a hybrid schedule, meaning that they’ll split their time between continuing to work from home and coming into the office in an effort to maintain physical and social distancing and office capacity limits. 

Furthermore, business owners and office managers may be tasked with downsizing and even redesigning their office spaces to meet these new standards. Providing more access to outdoor spaces, natural lighting, excellent ventilation to control air quality, and more automated fixtures (e.g., hand sanitizing stations, doors, elevators, etc.) to prevent the spread of disease will become a top priority. 

If you’re currently renting or are planning to rent an Ottawa office space for your business in the near future, here are five important predictions for how the workplace will change after the pandemic.

Office Rentals Will Serve as a Status Symbol

Renting a furnished office space has always been a sign of a successful business. It shows that you take great pride in your professional appearance and in cultivating a positive company culture to boot. 

The current state of the real estate market has priced many businesses out of being able to afford purchasing commercial properties outright, so renting or leasing an office space is the next best thing, even if it means restructuring your business to meet your new office requirements. 

Given the current situation, some people may still be a little hesitant to return to the office full time. Modern office space designs will be centered on creating a welcoming, engaging, and even calming atmosphere that reassures those who may still be a little uneasy about leaving the comfort and safety of their makeshift at-home workspaces. Undoubtedly, there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period as employees slowly transition back into working from the office. Employers need to make a strong effort to make their employees feel comfortable and safe again. 

Video Chats Will Get Smarter

Tech companies like Microsoft and Cisco (the web conferencing company that owns Zoom) are implementing new features in their platforms that will make videoconferencing more artificially intelligent and intuitive. 

Microsoft Teams, for instance, has already added automated features that allow the platform to take notes during web conferences and recognize certain facial expressions, hand gestures, and even tasks that were agreed to by specific employees. The platform then sends reminders of task deadlines. Work events will also be automatically added to employees’ calendars. 

Zoom is also implementing big changes to accommodate hybrid workplaces. The new technology will use cameras to make it seem like multiple employees who are all working from the same office location are actually in separate locations. Those who are working from home will see their coworkers who are all in the office in separate windows of the same size on their livestream window as if they are also working from home. 

Health and Wellness Will Be a Bigger Priority Than Ever Before

Employers will continue to emphasize the health and wellness of their on- and off-site employees. Many businesses are already starting to prepare for the return of office workers to their premises. They’ve taken necessary steps like redesigning their internal office infrastructure to support physical distancing measures, installing frequent automated hand sanitizing stations, providing masks, and automating fixtures in common areas such as kitchens, break rooms, and bathrooms. 

Employees who don’t feel well will be encouraged to stay home. They can either take a sick day or simply work from home depending on the severity of their illness.

Social Bubbles Will Begin to Thrive Once Again

Working in an office space surrounded by other people means that there’s naturally going to be some non-work-related talk amongst colleagues. After well over a year of not being able to see one another face-to-face, coworkers have a lot of catching up to do. Moreover, they might just be very happy to be able to talk to people in person who don’t live in their households. 

Moreover, after-work drinks and communal lunch breaks will provide ample opportunities for coworkers to socialize with one another on a regular basis once again. Employees will definitely go through somewhat of a transitional phase as they relearn some forgotten social skills, but it’s just like riding a bicycle for a lot of people. Once they get back on it, they’ll get used to it once again.

Hybrid Office Solutions Will Become Prominent

Before the pandemic, many businesses were already in the process of adopting robust hybrid office solutions to accommodate the diverse and evolving needs of their employees. But stay-at-home orders and subsequent lockdowns accelerated the process of working around people’s various schedules. As a result, many experts predict that more people will opt for a hybrid office solution if given the opportunity. This allows them to work from home and at the office on a rotational schedule while also limiting the number of people at the office on any particular day. 

Find an Office Space for Rent in Ottawa or Mississauga

Are you looking for fully furnished short-term office spaces in Ottawa and Mississauga? At Innovative Professional Offices, our stunning office suites provide a welcoming atmosphere that’s designed to foster business growth and creativity. We offer fully stocked break rooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, conference rooms, and private executive offices with a flexible rental package to accommodate the requirements of your business. Book your office rental in Ottawa or Mississauga today!

 

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Pat Fernandes

Using all the skills, experience and knowledge gained in my work life, it gives me great joy to help professional business owners to find a comfortable office space to carry out their day to day work. At Innovative Professional Offices we provide executive office space for solo-preneurs and small companies. We provide virtual office services for those who work from home, but need a business address and telephone. We provide board rooms for meetings and small seminars.
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