The immediate impact of the COVID-19 crisis on offices around the world was dramatic. For many office workers, this meant a sudden pivot to practices that had previously played a supplementary role at most in their working lives. Face-to-face team meetings and in-person collaboration was replaced by video conferences, virtual chatrooms and online file sharing. The experience has changed people’s expectations of what work can be.
Despite the huge strides forward made by digital collaboration and communication tools in recent years, the benefits of co-locating workers in an office for at least some of the time are hard to replace. Making the office safe for workers to return is a significant task that many organisations are finding challenging. Fortunately, just as technology provided a solution to rapid home-working requirements, it can also help companies manage these new requirements. By investing in the right 'intelligent workplace' technologies, businesses can both make their office spaces safer for workers now and prepare for a long-term future where more employees than ever are working from home.