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what will the post-COVID19 office look like?

The UK has remained in lockdown for many months now, seeing a rise in remote working and fast-paced adaptation to a new normal. Many challenges have been presented to overcome, many changes have been made to multiple industries to survive. From this, however, has also seen great success stories, quickly adapting to a home-working lifestyle with benefits to employers and employees alike. Now many ask the question, do I need the office anymore?  

The sustainability of the office space has now been brought into question. As workers start to head back to work with new adaptations in place to ensure social distancing guidelines, the capacity of building space has been reduced. Buildings of 400 people now look to house 200, presenting questions to employers of who 'needs' to be in the office or an office at all? 

The rise in digital technology and its worldwide accessibility, fuels many to be able to efficiently work on location. The question new research shows employees are now asking, is why should I travel to an office when I can do all my job from home? A big question that will vary per business, per employer and per person. One theme that resides and is finally being acknowledged after years of research is the effect on the environment, and all it took was a few photos of dolphins in Venice.

a greener future post-COVID19?

  • 57% of businesses are making changes from consumer and competitor demand.
  • 69% of businesses say they would support their workforce to reduce the impact on the environment.
  • Dangerous PM2.5 air pollution dropped heavily in some of the world’s most polluted cities.

save the planet, stay at home.

Even before the COVID-19 crisis, experts were predicting that half of the UK workforce would be working remotely by 2020. What the global pandemic has done, is force that upon the world both highlighting some preparedness for it and some not. For the same reasons that working from home can save you money, it can also save the planet. Less traffic, less eating out socially, fewer office emissions, all contribute to reducing global human impact on the environment. It may be extreme at the moment, but the results have followed suit.

dolphins in Venice.

As something you may not have even considered, the rapid cleaning of rivers and overall water supply from pollution shows how quickly these changes can become with the right measures in place. Now, we're not quite at cleaning the Thames yet, but in some areas, we will start to notice subtle to dramatic changes to our environment simply by not being there to effect it. 

lowering human emissions.

A weird title to read potentially. Human emissions can vary from our specific output by driving and flying on a regular commute throughout a working year, to the indirect effects of eating meat or buying items from overseas and the carbon footprint all that process entails. Even working from home or co-working space for one or two days a week can help businesses reduce their CO2 emissions and achieve a lower carbon footprint. How we implement these changes will stand to show our ability to change for the better and still operate effectively. 

considering your own health post COVID19.

Something you may not yet have considered whilst facing the avoision of a global pandemic is also avoiding the damaging air quality of a busy city or commute to work. When we ask what the office will look like post-COVID19, part of that conversation is how people commute and where they commute to?

air quality during a pandemic. 

Research by Instant Offices showed air quality dramatically improved in some of the world’s biggest cities just two weeks into lockdown. Dangerous PM2.5 air pollution dropped by 60% in Delhi, 34% in London and 71% in Los Angeles, due to reduced activity.

These figures highlight to businesses the effects eco-friendly habits can have, but there are financial benefits too.

For many companies, the pressure to change is coming from all sides. In Europe, 25% of businesses see government regulations as the least likely motivator for changes to becoming more environmentally sustainable. 57% are making changes based on consumers and competitors.

how can we make environmental changes in the office?

  • Increase remote working and reduce the need to commute
  • Focus on offering virtual consultations and online shopping options to consumers, reducing overall traffic and encouraging social distancing
  • Encourage the use of reusable, washable fabric masks in the office, in place of single-use disposable masks
  • Look for ways to reduce plastic waste and replace with more sustainable materials
  • Invest in low-consumption and water-saving energy solutions to help reduce operational costs


To ask how we can help you with advice, guidelines, anything you might need to prepare your business for a safe return to work, get in touch today.