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KPBS Midday Edition

What Happens To The Office Watercooler After Coronavirus?

This Thursday, May 7, 2020, photo, shows Interior Designer Stephanie Jones at the design firm Bergmeyer putting up a safe distancing reminder indicating one-way foot traffic to a cubicle at the firms' offices in Boston. When workers around the world eventually return to their desks, they’ll find myriad adjustments by their companies to reflect the post-pandemic “new normal” way of life, executives and experts say.
Steven Senne / AP
This Thursday, May 7, 2020, photo, shows Interior Designer Stephanie Jones at the design firm Bergmeyer putting up a safe distancing reminder indicating one-way foot traffic to a cubicle at the firms' offices in Boston. When workers around the world eventually return to their desks, they’ll find myriad adjustments by their companies to reflect the post-pandemic “new normal” way of life, executives and experts say.
Many workers are experiencing the new world of telecommuting during the coronavirus pandemic. Offices and other workplaces are shuttered, or operating with a fraction of the workforce on site. But what happens when it’s time for most, or at least many of us to leave home and go back into the office? This challenge is critical now for the people who design office spaces for companies

Many white-collar workers are experiencing the new world of telecommuting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Offices and other workplaces are shuttered, or operating with a fraction of the workforce on site.

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But what happens when it’s time for most, or at least many workers, to leave home and go back into the office? This is a new challenge for the people who design office spaces for companies.

RELATED: Survey Shows Employees Want To Keep Working From Home

Nic Willis, an interior planning director at Hughes Marino in San Diego, is fielding calls from clients navigating the challenge. He wrote about practical design solutions for his company's blog.

"I think there needs to be a certain level of confidence that their employers have thought through the steps that are necessary to return workers to the office environment safely," Willis said. "Those include implementing social distancing and staggering work hours and just achieving appropriate density within the workplace."

Willis joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about how the pandemic will impact workplace design.