Future Workplace Trends: 8 Predictions for Post-Coronavirus

There’s no getting around it: the global pandemic has been brutal for business. For now, the goal of many employers is simply to survive the shuttered facades. Soon, however, survival will give way to adaptation. Employers, just like all evolved creatures, will find their own ways to adapt to new circumstances. This is especially true when lives (and livelihoods) are on the line. 

As we look toward the not-so-distant future, how are we expecting workplaces to adapt to our new normal? Davinci explores 8 predictions for post-coronavirus workplace trends and how they can help your business thrive in the long term.

1. Reopenings, Reclosings, Repeat

“Realistic expectations” is the key phrase here. With the coronavirus being a moving target, we can expect specific locations to recover, flare up, then recover again. This cycle may repeat itself a few times before the pandemic is declared over. To combat this, reopenings will be targeted by location and done in stages.

Don’t be surprised if other types of localized threats, whether from different diseases or otherwise, will require similar measures to be taken in the future. 

2. The Six-Feet Office

For an entire generation, “six feet” will always be attributed to safety from illness. All of a sudden, we are keenly aware of our personal space and expect it to be respected. 

The “six-feet office” will feature not only plastic barriers and pedestrian lanes, but also staggering or rotating shifts for employees. Additionally, “at-risk” hours and diminished “open” hours could be keepers.

3. An Uptick in Hygiene

As history proves, improving one’s hygiene has always allowed humanity to take a leap forward. Thanks to the fear of infection, future offices will forever feature:

• Masks and gloves worn by vulnerable or potentially contagious employees

• 20-second hand washing requirements and hand sanitizing stations

• Disposable, one-time-use supplies (hopefully biodegradable ones)

• Regular and required temperature checks of employees and customers

• Entire office fogging sanitization cycles

• Hospital-grade air purification systems

4. Touch-Free Technology

Consumers have been waiting long enough for touch-free technology to really take off, and the time has finally come.

Cash is already almost obsolete in many countries around the world, and we can expect the same to be true across the U.S. very soon. During the outbreak, South Korea took to “taking all banknotes out of circulation for two weeks—and burning some—to reduce the spread of the virus.” China deep cleaned “potentially infected cash with ultraviolet light and high temperatures” and also destroyed bills. Some businesses have banned cash as a form of payment. You can expect mobile and contactless payment options to be the only option very soon.

Other touchless tech on a quick rise to the top include motion sensors and facial recognition for everything from security checkpoints to elevators.

5. A Shift in Corporate Real Estate

There are likely to be many changes relating to real estate in the corporate world. Many employees will be hard-pressed to take up their long twice-daily commute once again. The employees who proved themselves adept in at-home work will demand more location flexibility. Giant corporate office buildings will probably downsize to accommodate a reduced in-house staff.

Temporary office spaces and hot desks will certainly gain ground. This short-term letting of smaller office space offers a lot of benefits, namely a freedom from long-term leases and an expansion of flexibility. We predict this workplace trend in the future will never go out of style.   

6. Stronger (and More Lenient) Sick Leave Policies

There are no federal legal requirements for paid sick leave, but don’t be surprised to soon see people pushing for a policy change. For a vast number of “essential employees,” proper sick leave benefits don’t exist. They also don’t usually exist for part-time, temporary, or contract workers. There’s a good chance that such benefits eventually become mandatory for employers to provide. 

Where sick leave is already in place, it may become pertinent to update outdated requirements such as presenting a doctor’s note. 

7. Proper Work-from-Home Policies

Along the same lines, most companies don’t have any policies that cover work-from-home opportunities. Seeing that so many of us have been doing nothing but working from home, we’ll bet that companies will decide to make it a viable option moving forward. For this to work, policies will need to be in place to cover it. 

Examples of topics that might be included in such a policy are:

• Which employees are eligible to work from home

• Specific duties that are/are not allowed to be done from home

• Work schedules (full-time, temporary, rotating days, at discretion, etc.)

• Reasons that demand it (parenting, medical, bad weather, length of commute, etc.)

• Cybersecurity and data privacy

• Team collaboration requirements

• Equipment and software availability

• Revocation of work-from-home option

8. A Stronger Desire to Connect Face-to-Face

If we’ve learned anything during this time of self isolation, it’s that the need for connectivity won’t go away. If anything, we want it more than ever before. While technology, creativity, and sheer grit have given us the tools to bridge the gaping holes of loneliness and boredom, there is no replacement for face-to-face human interaction and collaboration. We crave it. It’s good for us.

In the coming months and years, we won’t forget the solitude we suffered. We won’t take for granted the in-person opportunities in front of us. What we will do is smile more, stop for a leisurely chat, and sincerely wish each other well upon our parting. 

Final Thoughts

What about you? In what ways do you predict the post-coronavirus to be different than before? Are there any future workplace trends you’d like to see in terms of space, technology, or policy? Do you enjoy and feel productive when working from home? (If working from home isn’t working out so well for you, rent a private day office so you can focus and finally get something done.)

We at Davinci are excited to get people back in the office, but we are also well aware of the many benefits that come from utilizing temporary and remote meeting locations. Some of these benefits are flexibility of location, reduction of leasing costs, and last-minute availability. In times of uncertainty (which will certainly continue for the foreseeable future) having such an office space in your back pocket comes in handy. 



Subscribe to Our Blog

Archive Show Archives

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.