Perhaps it’s time to evolve. Perhaps it’s time to consider some new possibilities. Perhaps it’s time for a new normal. Not just as far as our cultural discourse, but also everything else. It’s been a long while since we have examined a few things we’ve been doing for years. We all used to go into an office with cubicles and sit there for 8 hours a day despite a mountain of research that said that it was unhealthy for our bodies. Maybe it’s time to reexamine this practice now that we’ve proven as an entire planet that the office is not all that necessary. What might a new idea for an office look like?
I think it’s worth considering the fact that the communal gathering of people at a job can be done digitally as I’ve mentioned… we’ve proven this. Through the advancement of technology, the need to be physically in the same space is just not necessary. It took a pandemic for us to realize that, but here we are. So what is an actual office space for in this modern understanding?
I cannot argue that they are entirely unnecessary because I don’t agree with that statement. I think it is good for a group of people that work together to spend time together. Zoom calls only go so far, real human interaction and collaboration is certainly important, but how can that be evolved? I think that the office should become a more flexible environment born from necessity rather than a mandate.
Companies should begin to switch to an office environment that specifically allows for collaboration spaces and a few desks that are free to use by anyone who wishes to come in. There would be sign-up sheets for people to select which days they want to come in and use the spaces. This allows for social distancing to remain an option for those that are ready to go back to a workplace, with a limited number of people in the office at a time. This also allows for a more affordable solution for small businesses that are struggling to pay rent in a time when revenue is down and gives the employees a more autonomous experience with their job. Much of the burn out that office employees experience is the sameness of every day, but if you could choose your desk and your days in the office at your discretion, that would certainly help in that regard as well.
The other big idea is outdoor offices. Restaurants have had outdoor seating for decades, why can’t offices? Of course, I understand that some locations are not conducive to this experience because of weather, and of course, sitting here in Los Angeles, this seems like a no brainer for me, but even a seasonal outdoor sitting space could be really beneficial. Logistically most people are working on laptops anyway, and the internet could be handled by a device like this Solis X that allows for multiple devices to connect at one time. For warmer climates, this could be a full year solution, for colder climates, an opportunity for something new and exciting for summer months when the weather is nice.
Everyone wants to go back to normal, but I think that normal wasn’t perfect. Let’s make a new normal, something that is even better than before, now that we know it’s possible.