The impact of COVID-19 on the work environment is going to be one of the main considerations when the social isolation restrictions are lifted here in Australia. This will come as no surprise. The related obvious question is the extent to which employees will continue to work remotely?

While the home is from where most are currently working, will this be the case going forward? How practical is it to have both bread winners working from home, in a physical sense as much as anything else? Will there be the need for modification or additions to the house or does one party find another site? Or does the current experience reinforce the benefits of a physical presence.

There are going to be numerous possibilities and the response could be different depending on the industry or the geographies involved. Could there be greater centralisation or will current events mean more “satellite” offices which may reflect employee residences.

Similarly, there is broad consensus that the physical work environment will change. Will employees demand greater space? Will it actually be legislated that we work further apart? There will be an appraisal of what represents “value” from landlords and tenants in terms of what a productive work environment looks like. And this is extended to the communal areas within a building. It will be interesting to se whether a new trend around this space evolves from recent events. Will the foyer coffee cart remain?

The COVID-19 numbers for Australia appear to be heading in the right direction and May 11th should provide some clarity and allow for more planning. There have been some leasing discussions, but, given the right Government direction, they could increase after this key date.

Whilst we at TOPIC Interiors don’t claim to have all the answers to these physical work environment questions, we are “future-proofing” our business by considering all realities in a post-COVID-19 world through analysis of our current situation and looking at all possible scenarios going forward.

Stay safe,

The TOPIC Interiors Team