Future of workspace post COVID-19




Businesses will largely stay "work at home", shifting the vast majority of their positions into this type of arrangement ongoing. They're seeing how much more cost-effective it can be and right now they've been hit hard in the wallet, many won't have the ability to go back — working virtual will become a necessity.

Instead of a "casual Friday", you *might* have 1-day a week where people meet at the (much smaller, and probably relocated) office or just occasional office meetups for a mostly virtual presence.

Businesses will be scaling back their physical presence, some eliminating it altogether, permanently. Others will go from 15,000 square foot offices to 2,000 square foot locations.

Office space values will plummet and even those businesses that maintain a full physical presence will consider moving to get deeply discounted rent or renegotiating their existing leases.

With the dramatic scaling back of many physical offices, there will be a ripple effect in local restaurants as well. Many that rely on foot traffic from the local workforce won't make it and won't re-open.

Overall, this will dramatically depress the economy. Home foreclosures will skyrocket and it will quickly become a "buyers cash" market. Real estate investors will suffer the most and the quickest as their valuations collapse and their personal holdings are put in jeopardy.

Traffic on sites like Zillow and other home buying sites is down more than 40% and new home listings are down as much as 70%. Many laws and extensions to prevent and delay foreclosures are taking the edge off, but not likely to have a profound impact, nor is a $1200 check from the government likely to make a meaningful difference for most.

BYOC (bring your own computer) will be the new expectation for employees. Gone are the days where employers will buy their employees an office computer. You may get a small allotment towards purchasing or upgrading your computer on an annual basis.

Many other traditional office costs, such as office supplies, printers, scanners, office equipment, faxes (omg - they still exist?), etc... will be eliminated or pushed onto the work-at-home employees to resolve.

Small, nimble, co-working spaces will pop up everywhere, capitalizing on the overly abundant availability of office space, to provide many of those office machines, copiers, printers and such that the work-at-home force will occasionally need on demand. This, however, will be short-lived as businesses finally are "pushed" into becoming much more digitally efficient and realize that there is a better way and diminishing the need.

For desktop computers, this will be the final nail in the coffin. This 3-legged dinosaur won't go completely extinct, but it likely will become a "rare sighting".

Powerful tablets will surge in usage as well as more mobile workers on limited computer purchasing budgets will look for simpler solutions and realize that an iPad with a keyboard does everything they really need, is more portable and doesn't take up so much space.


Mobile phones and apps will continue to grow in both popularity, usage and business purpose.

Mobile learning will rise even faster, the new era already underway being rapidly accelerated.

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