Traditional office life gets a post-pandemic makeover

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Here's what you can expect if you return to the office.

Freelancing. Working from home

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As lockdown orders begin to lift, what "normal" looks like for workforces post-pandemic is beginning to be seen. 

According to a recent PwC survey, "65% of chief financial officers anticipate retooling work sites for physical distancing, and 52% are planning shifts to reduce exposure."

SEE: The new normal: What work will look like post-pandemic (TechRepublic Premium)

To safely maximize the number of employees in an office at one time, office managers may open offices earlier or stay open later. They may also create schedules assigning staff certain days of the week or hours to come to work. 

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Office managers must also reconfigure physical spaces to ensure their staff's safety. Open floor plans and bullpen-style offices will get the boot as cubicles and offices with doors that support social distancing will return.

Expect digital thermometers to monitor employees' health and coronavirus contact tracing tools may also be used to track employees.

SEE: The new normal: What work will look like post-pandemic (TechRepublic Premium)

The biggest impact of COVID-19 is that some employees may not return to their work's physical offices at all. 

Google expects its staff to work from home until 2021. According to a Gartner survey, 74% of CFOs and finance leaders said they will move at least 5% of their previously on-site workforce to permanently remote positions post-COVID 19.

"Rather than remote work being the exception, it is now the norm for everyone from the CEO to the new analyst," wrote TechRepublic contributor, Patrick Gray.

A recent Glassdoor survey showed "67% of employees would support the decision by their employer to mandate employees 'work from home indefinitely.'"

After all, technology has transitioned workers easily to their home offices. As flexible or work-from-home policies remain, video conferencing platforms, VPNS, collaboration tools, and virtual desktop usage will remain high.

SEE: The new normal: What work will look like post-pandemic (TechRepublic Premium)

Working remotely also opens up more opportunities for job seekers, as job candidate searches may extend beyond the immediate area where an office is based. Virtual methods will be used to interview candidates. Many new employees can expect onboarding programs and job training to be held virtually, as well.

From working remotely to reconfigured offices, the TechRepublic Premium ebook The new normal: What work will look like post-pandemic explores what the future of work could look like and technology's role in this transition.
 

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