Post COVID-19 Office Trends

Today is Lockdown day #42 and NZ hopes to revert to Level 2 in another 5 days time… what will “the office” feel like after almost 50 days of lock down?!

Many of us have worked productively and enjoyed working from home for the past 40 odd days. Technology allows us to communicate, collaborate and connect remotely with customers, teams and suppliers.

Pre COVID-19 many start up and established businesses were forsaking traditional offices to share cooler working spaces.  Advantages of sharing space include:

  • Flexibility
  • Stimulation and collaboration with like-minded people
  • High spec and funky space with meeting /breakout rooms etc
  • The discipline of “going to work”
  • Work / home separation
  • (Much) lower costs.

So what post COVID-19 trends will we see?

I predict lots more vacant office space… although I have a spacious personal study in a Grey Lynn bungalow, for the past 40 days I have run my business and worked productively full time with three screens, fast internet, a very comfortable office chair, and a desk that is literally 1000cm wide and 600cm deep!  When you are paperless, shelving is for plants rather than lever arch files!

Who needs a flash corner office with swanky high-rise views of the Waitemata harbour, and an eye watering monthly rent and parking bill to match?  Isn’t that so last decade?  Or, should that be that last year??

Pre COVID-19 we saw a rapid rise in hot desking.  But suddenly sharing grubby desk surfaces with others, who also share the kitchen, bathrooms, and meeting rooms isn’t appealing!

And by Lock down day #47 yoga pants and working from our own home bubble is likely to have lost some of its attractiveness.

So, here are my bold predictions Post COVID-19:

  • Downsizing office space to reduce overheads in preparation for the expected global recession
  • Embracing technology and working without paper – less space needed per person
  • Decline in hot desking because good hygiene is now vital
  • Increase in sharing space with dedicated desks and our own personal bubbles
  • Access to fast scanning equipment and unlimited internet are must haves
  • Collaboration face to face whilst maintaining a “safe” 2m distance from co-workers
  • Work / home separation because 70 hour work weeks are unsustainable, and working with kids at home is stressful
  • Real plants and access to green outdoor space for mental well being
  • More flexi time and choosing to work from home sometimes if we want
  • Work socialisation because, while Zoom is fantastic, humans are social animals.

If you are looking to share cool, funky, clean, hygienic office space with plants where you can work collaboratively and have fun but still maintain your own 2m desk bubble then check out Q2HQ here.

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