Months of working from the couch might have erased them from people’s minds, but despite the headlines about companies breaking leases and the rise of global nomads, offices are still central to the way many companies plan to do business going forward.
The office experience is likely to feel very different, though, as more companies adopt a hybrid workplace approach, with people coming in only on some days and working from home the rest of the time. However often they come in, many employees are going to be entering office environments that are dramatically altered. In some places, new design concepts are radically reshaping spaces and furnishings, resulting in plentiful collaboration areas, technologies that can guide the reconfiguration of desk layouts and conference rooms, and other more flexible, responsive, and adaptive features.
These transformations are happening now. Companies such as Spotify, Salesforce, and the online identity-management company Okta have had redesigns in the works for months, and they’re all devising novel ways of making their spaces comfortable and seamlessly functional for people when they need to come into the office. Their innovations in a few key areas provide a glimpse of what your post-couch work life might entail.