Do new worker cubes herald the future of individual offices?

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The dawn of 2020 not only signalled a new decade, but a wave of change that all of us have had to adapt to rather abruptly. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered life as we know it. And now, as we are starting to enter a new normality ever so cautiously, the country is finally starting to get back to work.

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Safety first

Society is moving forward carefully. Safety is paramount during these extraordinary times as it has been at the forefront of everything we have done for the past five months. Many people are still remotely working from the comfort and security of their homes. When the time comes, how can we carefully get back into the office and maintain essential social distancing? It appears that cube workstations could be the answer.

Many medical experts are wary of a quick return to the workplace in any location, open-plan or otherwise. Yet if cubes are given the go-ahead for workers to safely get back to the daily grind, they could prove popular. They are said measure 3m x 3m and feature a kettle, fridge, a fold-down bed, video screen, a microwave and a draughtsman chair and desk. Having everything in one place (and not just the trusty draughtsman chair for company) could mean greater productivity, as well as placing employees’ well-being at the forefront simultaneously. For example, having a fold-down bed contained within the cube workstation could provide respite for a worker who has an overnight project to attend to.

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A new normal begins

For a number of years, the open plan office with draughtsman chair and desk sets dotted around it has been the favourable way of the workplace, creating an open community and a sense of a wider team. Yet when millions of workers do return to the office, they could find themselves in new, uncharted territory that may keep them at a distance from their colleagues, but it could be one that will likely keep them safe and prevent them from spreading the virus further.

Whatever the future of the workplace office may look like and how it may operate, one thing is for certain: many of us will have to face the challenge and adapt to the new normal of the daily grind, cubes or no cubes.

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