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Reopening your office and coworking spaces - this will be ´the new normal´

Steen Uno
After months of office lockdown, it is time to consider how employees can correctly return to their workplace and which measures and precautions will be mandatory during the reopening phases after covid-19.
Steen Uno

Steen Uno

With the global labor market gradually beginning careful reopening processes, company managements are busy planning corona-updated new normal  workflows for their office spaces.  

Besides dramatic economic downturns, the covid-19 pandemic will inevitably leave significant imprints regarding your companies' daily workflows and ways of organizing.

The increased focus of the coronavirus crisis on safety and health will lead to basic interior design and behavior changes in your office environment, meeting rooms, amenities, etc.   

For example, to reduce the risk of infections at least for a period, offices will have to cancel free seating and reintroduce personal workstations, create movement patterns in the office area, designate specific toilets for employees, and other essential measures.     

Physical distancing and hygiene

"Your reopening office will not look the same as before the covid-19 outbreak. For a long time to come, until we get a vaccine, we'll have to get used to the fact that physical distancing and updates hygiene will affect every aspect of your office space and workday.

Everywhere you'll watch signs of the social separation: Stickers on the floors showing directions to walk, chairs removed from desks, meeting rooms and amenities," director of the world's largest real estate services company CBRE, Lenny Beaudoin states.


New stricter guidelines for physical distancing and updated hygiene will, for a long
time, affect all aspects of our office space and workday.
                                                                                                                          Photos: iStock


He compares the future time in the office space with the period after September 11, 2001, when every company was hit by similarly rigorous, time-consuming security measures and procedures.

"Back then, we quickly got used to dealing with all the downsides and delays. Our new safety and hygiene procedures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic will also smoothly become a habit in our workdays," Lenny Beaudoin reassures.

Sufficient space

The latest recommendations on distances of minimum just one meter might largely challenge the open office space, according to Copenhagen University professor at Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology, Jan Pravsgaard Christensen.

"Distance as well as amount of time together is crucial to the virus's ability to spread. If you talk together for a short period at a meter distance, it's probably ok. But if you have to sit together all day and work, you'll need to arrange better distances."


Stricter physical distancing measures will inevitably lead to a noticeable reduction
in the number of workstations in global coworking spaces.      Photo:                 


When opening the community, you have to ensure that people do not sit too close. But also, you must make sufficient space for their other movement patterns when, for example, they have to go out to the copier or coffee machine.

"Maybe not everyone should be in the office at the same time. Some have to work at home. You can separate the tables, you can arrange shift teams, so some are at work the first part of the week, the rest the last one," Jan Pravsgaard Christensen suggests.

Coworking downturn

The commercial real estate industry looks very pessimistic at the current situation of the coworking business and is worrying even stronger for the upcoming period after the covid-19 lockdown.

A survey among 14,000 coworking spaces in 172 countries reports that 72% experienced a significant decline in the number of tenants using their workstation since the outbreak, 41% noted a negative impact on membership and contract renewal.

"One thing is that the stricter measures on physical distancing will inevitably mean a reduction in the number of workstations in most coworking spaces. But for landlords, it could be even more disastrous that thousands of tenants will prioritize continuing to work from home for a very long time yet terminating their short-term leases," experts agree worldwide.


After the corona shutdown, several tenants will take security so seriously that they
will continue to work from home terminating their short-term coworking leases.


Among many, Luxembourg's largest coworking and office community, The Color Business Center, is ready to handle the post-corona reopening phases through targetted recovering programs. 

"Cooperating with The Sacred Heart University Luxembourg we´re currently launching and facilitating a ´recovery incubator´ for entrepreneurs wishing to reinvent themselves after the crisis.

Our initiative is part of our 'Luxembourg Recovery: 50 ideas to rebuild' operation to share concrete ideas, experiences, or measures to be implemented to facilitate the rebound of Luxembourg economy," director of Sacred Heart University Luxembourg, Antoine Rech proudly announces.  ● 



Read more: The No-Nonsense Guide To Reopening Your Office Someday we’ll return to the office. It’ll be nothing like we’ve seen before How Coworking Spaces Are Navigating Through the Coronavirus Crisis Luxembourg Recovery - Nous créons un incubateur de relance












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