SOM

SOM

Post-Pandemic: Preparing for Our Return to the Office

There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the daily routines we once took for granted. As creative professionals, we have been able to maintain our productivity during the pandemic—we’ve started new projects, presented ideas, and met our deadlines, all without leaving home. Some have even asked if “the office” is dead, just another relic of a pre-digital era waiting to be shed.

Rather than making the traditional notion of the office obsolete, this experience has reinforced our belief in the necessity of a shared workspace. We choose to come together for the many benefits it brings: human contact, intentional meeting, collective experience, and the soul-satisfying energy you just can’t get from a screen.

The evolution of the workplace—as a choice, an identity, and a mindset—brings new possibilities and new challenges. As cities begin to reopen during the next phase of the pandemic, returning our shared spaces will require patience, determination, and careful planning. Working as a collaborative and international team, and dedicated to the belief that we are more than just the sum of our parts, we have sought to develop strategies that reestablish our ability to convene safely and in a way that will enhance our work going forward. We are sharing our research and thoughts from this process, knowing that might serve as a resource for other design firms, our business partners, and our broader community.