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Life after lockdown: Your office job will never be the same - here's what to expect


Peter van Woerkum has spent the past few weeks working in, and fine-tuning, what could turn out to be something very like the office of the future: the office of our coronavirus-altered future, that is. He takes the lift (in which only two employees are allowed at a time) then walks clockwise to reception and grabs a recycled paper mat to cover his desk while he works. He makes his way through the now extra-roomy office – the firm has removed furniture to avoid clutter – to a workspace, which has, of course, been thoroughly cleaned overnight. This TechRepublic Premium ebook compiles the latest on cancelled conferences, cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, and the impact this pandemic is having on the tech industry. He brings his own keyboard, mouse, and laptop. Near his desk, there are marks on the floor indicating how close his colleagues should stand if they fancy coming over for a chat. If he needs the bathroom, he has to follow a specific route designed to avoid bumping into other workers. And his keyring has a new addition: a copper token that he can use to press buttons and open doors without touching any surfaces. SEE: IT pro's roadmap to working remotely (free PDF) Since mid-March, Cushman and Wakefield, the real estate company where van Woerkum is chief operating officer, has been thinking about the transformation that the office will need to go through as employees start returning to work.

Optimising the smart office: A marriage of technology and people


We've all suffered bad days at the office. You forgot your RFID pass for the door-entry system and had to call reception to gain access. Your favourite hot-desking spot was occupied, the office was too cold, and the strip-lighting above the spare desk you finally found was too bright. Later, you struggled with a meeting room's audio-visual equipment before an important video-conferencing session, and the resulting stress meant you didn't perform well. Towards the end of a long day, at short notice, your boss requested strategic ideas for an upcoming planning meeting, but by this time you were tired and lacked inspiration.

Remote, hybrid or office-based? Employers are making big decisions about the future of work. This is what it might look like


For many business leaders, the sudden transition to remote working that was forced upon companies last year as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down office spaces still brings back memories of long hours of work and a few logistical ordeals – but according to some experts from analyst Gartner, the real challenge is yet to come. As restrictions slowly lift and employers start thinking of bringing their staff back into the workplace, some forward-thinking planning will be required to ensure a smooth transition from working fully remotely in the context of a global health crisis, to a hybrid mode of work of which the details are yet to be defined. Which video conferencing platform is right for your business? We've gathered details about 10 leading services. This is because, for a significant proportion of employees, a return to the office for five days a week is unlikely to be an appealing option.

Back to the office: How you should manage the return to work after the lockdown


Employees are equipped with laptops, remote collaboration tools have been downloaded en masse, and IT teams have stepped up VPNs to support safe remote working across entire organizations. Almost two months into lockdown, the workforce is only just adapting to a new routine away from whiteboard meetings and after-work drinks – but employers, for their part, should already be planning for an eventual return to the physical office. Staff won't be coming back to work under normal conditions. Without a vaccine on the immediate horizon, organizations will have to reopen the doors of the office while COVID-19 is still in the picture. In a new report from research firm Forrester, analysts call this the management phase of the crisis, lasting well into 2021, which will consist of re-organizing how we work, travel, congregate, eat, move and connect.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Your Health and Productivity


An unhealthy, dangerous or otherwise toxic workspace is known to deter workers from innovation and damage a company's reputation. Entrepreneurs have a responsibility to ensure that working environments keep employees safe, satisfied and positive so they can remain productive and innovative on the job. With the focus on workplace health management programs, along with the emergence of AI technologies, it's crucial to understand how these disruptive tools will affect the health -- mental, social and physical -- of workers across various sectors. AI is promising to change the way workplaces operate, but will it be a force for good or disrupt workplace culture in negative ways? With the expectation that AI will create a $190.6 billion market by 2025, it could be a tool used to provide healthier, more productive, and accessible work environments for all employees.