Skip to content
Subscriber Only

The Office You Left Is Not Going to Be the Office You Return To

Goodbye, open desk plan. Hello, masks, temperature checks, and plexiglass walls. 

Back in the office after Covid-19. 

Back in the office after Covid-19. 

Illustrator: Gaham Roumieu/Bloomberg

Your first day headed back to the office will likely feel different from the minute you wake up. Imagine the morning begins with a self-administered Covid-19 symptom and temperature check. An app will report the results to your boss. If all’s well, a low-occupancy company provided shuttle will take you to work. Everyone on it will be wearing a mask.

Once at the office, a second health check. Attendants will strictly control access to doors, elevators and common areas to prevent close contact. The route around the office will be one-way only. Formerly jammed open desk plans will sit half-empty. You may be encased in a makeshift cubicle made of plexiglass sheets.