Home / Technology / You are going back to the office This is what your day might look like.

You are going back to the office This is what your day might look like.

Monday at 6 a.m. Somewhere in America And Jane Q. Office Worker’s alarm goes off. She wants to hit the snooze button. But you know that if you do that She might miss a table with a nice view.

Jane is a hypothetical person in every way. Jane is unique in that she comes from the future. A few months ahead of us Changes that will soon affect our travel and office life. Changes that include both culture and technology It is now a reality in her daily life.

Many of these tools Includes workspace management apps and digital whiteboards. have been there for many years But just as video calling technology has put America’s work-at-home workers through the pandemic. They’re only getting more prevalent now. This list also includes newer and more experimental technologies such as 360-degree conference room cameras and contactless employee check-in.

when combined Many of these small changes will represent a break from the past for some of us.

scramble for seats

6:02 A.M.: After scrolling overnight Slack notifications sent by colleagues around the world, Jane opens an app that will help her decide where she works today…and with whom…and what she does.

In a recent survey of executives by consulting firm West Monroe, 67% said that by the summer, They will have plans for hybrid task management. Basically, the ability to work in the office some days. and some days at home But this simple binary—home or work—belies the complexities many employees now face.

Some companies are leasing co-working spaces in the suburbs that they used to maintain or may still have headquarters, said Jamie Hodari, chief executive of Industrious, a startup that partners with homeowners to offer office space and compete with WeWork. These employers recognize that workers have different needs to collect certain days of the week, month, or quarter depending on their team and job duties. Some may have moved to a remote suburb—or had never liked traveling in the first place.

An app from Envoy lets employees go back to the office to reserve a table.



“Now every company is forced to ask. What do employees want?” Mr Hodari said.

One of the keys to workspace flexibility is apps. It’s organized by software companies like Robin, Salesforce, Envoy, and Proximity so people can book workstations and other resources. and allow employers to keep track of where they will be on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a policy known as a private desk or hotel to save money.

collaborative puzzle

6:10 AM: Jane, who leads a small team of designers. cited a set of window tables for her team. Before the slots in the account get a table. Not only will there be enough light. But it’s far from a small kitchen, where Greg from Data Science sometimes microwaves fish.

Indeed, many managers are trying to get people back to the office five days a week, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who called remote working “pure negative,” and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who expected “almost all.” Have bank employees come back full time. The skepticism of hybrid work also includes those who think companies Should choose to have everyone fully in the office or far away from each other.

“If you have a meeting and five remote operators are calling and as many as there are It means a two-class system. What is said in the room is more important,” said Chris Herd, CEO of Firstbase, a remote start-up. Employees who have the furniture and computer equipment they need.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, has said that some things work better. And Google has announced that almost all employees are required to come to the office only three days a week.

Many companies now realize that not only are their offices less crowded, But those offices also had to be reconfigured to accommodate what people wanted to come to the office—mostly collaboration. And the apps and cloud services they turn to for help are starting to adjust to this new world. Add more features than just claiming to your desk today.

This is what office life used to be. Employees sit side by side at a tech company in San Francisco. Several months before the COVID-19 pandemic will completely change the place of work


Kelsey McClellan of The Wall Street Journal

For example, employees will soon be able to use the Envoy app to invite colleagues to join in on a special day. The company’s head of product, Alex Haefner, said employers could use the app to block office spaces as “neighbors” claimed by one of the teams on certain days.

This newfound employee flexibility is costly. Mr Hafner added. Disputes on who will gain any part of the office on the date that must be resolved And leaders must ensure that employees are not playing games with the system, such as reserving office space and not using it. Companies that have reduced their office space or redesigned them for more collaboration. It may be necessary to participate in data-based capacity planning. Manage available desks and meeting rooms. Like other resources shortage in budget

conquer the journey

8:20am sip coffee from Starbucks,

Jane uses the app and picks it up at a nearby takeout specialty store. which Jane is ready for her journey. Like millions of Americans She hops on a shared electric scooter.

Public transit has experienced a record drop in passenger numbers during the pandemic, for many people who missed the chance to ride the subway with hundreds of strangers. is more interesting especially in big cities

“For cities The political perception of micromobility before the epidemic was ‘So annoying—how can we stop it?’” Horace Dediu, the industry analyst who invented the term, refers to bikes, scooters and mopeds that rent apps. But during the pandemic, he added, this view changed with increasing adoption. especially when public transport is declining. “It’s the only way to travel around. in many cities And the visibility is amazing.”

share the air

9 a.m. Jane arrives at her office, flashes a QR code on her phone in front of a scanner. The same services that help her choose a desk are also linked to building access.

Technology is 30 years old, humble QR codes are everywhere. and saw widespread adoption after the pandemic Become a way to access menus and order food in restaurants. How to Pay with PayPal at Over 600,000 Retailers Mainstream Outdoor Advertising and how to check in at the hotel

When checking in in the flexible work area in the morning. Employees may not know that the area is not full of different people working the day before. but also people from completely different companies. Some businesses are exploring “Work is a service,” which means they only pay for desks and offices used on a specific day.

For example, New York underwear company Thinx offers its employees a monthly stipend that can be used to pay for their home office or co-working space. a company spokesperson said.

Work for a living (from home)

in April in North America None of the industries surveyed had people returning to the office on average more than two days a week.

Average days in the office for some industries

transport and logistics

media and telecommunications

transport and logistics

media and telecommunications

transport and logistics

media and telecommunications

While such shared hosting might have looked intimidating a few months ago, But now we know more than we did at the beginning of the pandemic whether shared indoor spaces are airborne pathogens like Covid-19. Exchange the air in a room or building four to six times an hour. This can be done with long-standing technology. but only used by buildings, such as those that meet “Standards for the construction of wells”

Sanjay Rishi, head of corporate solutions for the Americas at real estate giant JLL, said of his company’s vast customer base. This includes many of the world’s largest companies. There is no wholesale tendency for the company to move its headquarters as well. to another city or from the city center to the suburbs For many corporate leaders, maintaining headquarters in the city center is essential to maintaining a strong culture.

“It’s really about talent. And if you will attract and retain talent You have to have a sense of belonging,” he added.

call all colleagues

9:30 A.M.: Jane’s first meeting was in a conference room she had booked through her app. One end of the room was dominated by an 85-inch 4K TV when a few of her colleagues stepped in. The screen was filled with the faces of colleagues. Some people connect from the other side of the world.

Thanks to Microsoft Teams Rooms—or equivalent from Zoom, Google, and others—people will connect from their homes and other remote satellite offices in the future. Everyone can see and hear each other using one of these systems.

Just because they work doesn’t mean they won’t cause a headache. before the epidemic People hate one-on-one meetings. Then they hate Zoom’s calls during lockdown. Meetings between people in front and at a distance represent a third kind of drag. Mr Heard said

Make sure those who are far away—some of them are still in the office. But not this person—being able to engage equally with physically active people is an issue of particular concern for many companies. “Participate in working together”

10:30 A.M.: Jane returns to her desk. or at least the table The rest of her days are much more the same: a new way to collaborate, communicate, and work that’s starting to feel normal despite being completely alien a few years ago. For her and for millions of Americans Work has become less of a place where we go. and become more of what we do

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write to Christopher Mims at christopher.mims@wsj.com

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