Office of Tomorrow

Digitally Revitalized Spaces and Places of the Future

Spaces and places will be fundamental to how we return to work after the virus dissipates. Advances in remote technologies — including immersions in virtual spaces — blended with safe and well-ventilated offices will present new options to unleash more productive, innovative and healthy ways of working.

By Erik Brynjolfsson, Stanford University

Robert H. Brown, Cognizant Center for the Future of Work

In these times of contagion, one too-often-repeated refrain about cities is “It’s over.” San Francisco, New York, London … are no longer necessary. Time to head to the hills with a laptop, fat WiFi pipe, yoga mat and a good amount of social distancing.

Despite these “death of the city” proclamations post-COVID, urban centers will remain key to the future of new work. But for municipalities and commercial real estate alike to recapture the center of gravity (and for the businesses that inhabit them that yearn for a return to work, ASAP), they’ll need a rethink not only of their role in workers’ lives but also a technology prescription of prediction, prevention and early detection via pervasive health screening.

Done right, the result will be a physical rebirth and renaissance of communities everywhere, featuring newly hybridized spaces for safe and healthy working and living. The key will be keeping things human-scale even as technology takes center stage.

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