The main idea is to remove distractions, boost productivity and employee well-being – because, apparently, happy people work better. And now, as some of Google’s offices are reopening after a long and tedious lockdown, it is rolling out a number of innovations to make the working process even more efficient and safe.
Modifications After the Pandemic
The pandemic’s aftermath (like people getting the taste of not spending hours on commute), coupled with overcrowding, made Google change its policy about remote work. Today, it’s considering switching to a rotation schedule – and letting employees work from the comfort of their homes for at least a few days a week.
Apparently, in this scenario, a few people will be using the same workstation. But despite the immediate concerns among employees this caused, there was a solution. Google engineers have made a prototype of a smart desk that adapts to your preferences like adjusting the height and tilt of the monitor, regulating air temperature, and even slideshows your favorite photos in an electronic photo frame.
How sharing the same workstation fits social distancing is a discussion for another time. And speaking of which, for the sake of safety, productivity, and the 6-feet rule, the company will move away from the open office model. Instead, it plans to add more white space, convert small conference rooms into private workplaces, and create more outdoor working spaces under tents. Cafeterias, in their turn, will switch to boxed meals, and more touch-free sensors will be installed around the buildings.
There are also a few innovations to battle distractions like leaf-shaped “petals” that eliminate glare and direct speakers with white noise to cancel out ambient sounds. And finally – to empower creativity and collaboration – Google will introduce campfire-like meeting rooms with large displays for those who join the discussion virtually.
It’s still early to tell which of these innovations will catch on, but the company will designate 10% of its workspaces globally to experiment with these features in the following year.
What do you think of these innovations? Which ones are most likely to catch on?