WASHINGTON - Public officials stress that even when we enter the phases of the reopening process, COVID-19 will remain a threat.
The question is, what will the work place look like once social distancing guidelines are relaxed.
The problem with answering that question is that no one can definitely say anything – it’s a lot of speculation right now. But there is one group in our area that may have insight into what the future holds.
OPX Consultancy spoke with FOX 5 on Thursday. Their firm analyzes how a company’s office space operates, and then redesigns it to work better.
The D.C. company has several clients throughout the DMV and, over the past month, they’ve been surveying a couple thousand people working from home and asking them their favorite parts of remote working.
The firm says and overwhelming amount of people say the number one thing they enjoy is the lack of a commute.
Conversely, their data suggests the element they miss is working alongside their colleagues.
When rules are relaxed, the firm says major companies will likely have employees come into the workplace in staggered shifts, as well as a combination of in-person and remote working.
Based on the data, they believe physical office spaces will likely become bigger in order to accommodate necessary social distancing norms.
Experts say, right now, they’ve been consulting with several clients who are looking to expand their office spaces to provide new office features that will likely become the new norm in the short term.
“We’ve been kicking around a concept that’s a space that’s almost like a residential mud room where people go, they may change clothes. All entries would go there, deliverables would go there and maybe that outside people may enter the office in some controlled area but not in the area where people are doing their work,” said David Owen of OPX Design Consultancy.
They say a lot of companies will have to downsize their offices – a move that will likely start a trend of the office moving back into suburban areas where people live.