How post-pandemic office spaces could change corporate culture

Covid-19 will change the way we work in offices — perhaps indefinitely — which will likely impact corporate culture. Effective managers will need to learn new ways to connect with their employees and support them to grow and succeed in this new environment. 

By now it’s very clear that the coronavirus pandemic will change the way we work in offices — perhaps indefinitely. Less certain is the impact these physical and structural changes will have on corporate culture, which has become an intangible asset that companies now long to perfect. Corporate culture can also be used to describe the warm feelings employees have or the high expectations of a company’s management team.

“Think of it as safe, not sad,” explains Marc Spector, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and principal at Spectorgroup, referring to the measures companies will need to implement in order for employees to return to the office in a post-pandemic world. He emphasizes the aim for a greater focus on health and welfare and less so on “togetherness.” The New York-based global architecture, interior design and master planning firm’s portfolio includes  such high-profile properties as Brookfield Place, 60 Wall Street and the Nikon USA Headquarters.

“Companies are going to have to reorient workstations so people aren’t facing one another. That may mean changing where the computer is or where the power source is located. Companies are going to have to remove all of the tabling and the seating in conference rooms or other communal areas to give greater flexibility to space distance. Any personal effects at desks or offices need to be removed. That way, these spaces can be completely and thoroughly cleaned,” says Spector. He also recommends companies institute measures like touchless entry for restrooms and elevators and voice-over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, so there will be less direct contact with various surfaces. 

Many other changes could be adopted in the near future after the Covid-19 crisis.

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Written by: Jen GELLER and Riley de LEÒN


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