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Post COVID19 Office Design

Andy Cohen is CEO of Gensler, An integrated architecture, design, planning and consulting firm.

We’re working on a lot of offices right now. We have 10,000 clients around the world, and they’re all coming to us saying, “What does Day One look like in the office?” We’ve got guidelines that talk about what you can do to morph your space.

One major change is to use technology to make a touchless, frictionless environment. [In addition to] decals on the floor and separation of seating, partitions between desks, we’re talking about biometric scanning, facial recognition, so you don’t have to touch something to get in or out. It recognizes who you are, and [then] you can utilize a space. We’re talking about voice recognition in spaces, so that when you get on an elevator, you just say, “I’m going to 412” and don’t have to press a button. We’re talking about gesture technology, like what you see in bathrooms with soap dispensers, so you can move your hands and not have to touch doors to open things.

We’re [also] talking a lot about air filtration and using outside air, making sure our buildings are healthy. We’re talking about screenings in lobbies. When you enter a space there’s going to be a centralized screening or monitoring area. We’re talking about significant cleaning protocols in spaces and using materials that are easily cleanable. Technology, health and wellness, and ventilation are the three key areas that are coming up over and over and over again.

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