Here’s what the office could look like post pandemic – CNN

Posted: May 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

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There are things I miss about the office. I miss talking through problems face-to-face. Going on a coffee run with my coworkers. And the hum of the newsroom. (Although, the kiddos are providing some pretty interesting sound effects these days.)

But when and if you do finally go back to the office, don't expect it to look exactly how you left it.

Employers are working to implement all kinds of changes to protect their employees in this new age of social distancing.

There's likely going to be more space between desks, added partitions and sanitation stations, plus new rules on the use of common areas, meetings and where and how to keep your food.

Workspaces: Desks are going to have to be separated to allow for social distancing. Higher partitions and privacy panels will help create more protection between workers.

Friendly reminders of social distancing, like a six-foot rug or a taped-off area behind desks to show the appropriate distance to stand when asking a colleague a question, could become common.

How you move throughout the office will also change. Companies might add furniture like big bookshelves or indoor trees to help direct the flow of foot traffic and create barriers. Certain hallways or stairs could be designated as one-way to help prevent bottlenecks or workers getting too close.

Sanitization: There will be disinfectants and hand sanitizers scattered around the office, but you can also expect to see cleaning crews coming throughout the day.

Stickers detailing the last time of cleaning will help workers know that a meeting room is safe to enter.

Communal spaces: Many employers will opt to close spaces that encourage gathering, including kitchens. The risk is too high for germs to spread.

Automation: The less touching, the better. Think voice or foot-controlled technology to activate elevator buttons, or turn on lights or sensors with automatic sanitizing capabilities.

Protective wear: Companies are going to have stricter requirements for workwear, writes Alexander Alonso, chief knowledge officer for the Society for Human Resource Management, for CNN Business' Perspectives.

He added that more than half of essential businesses are currently allowing personal protective equipment (more commonly referred to as PPE) in their uniforms, including gloves and face masks.

By now, you might feel like you have a good grasp on this whole remote work thing.

You've found the most comfortable spot to work, figured out the best schedule and have finally found the best background for all your video calls.

But have you thought about your computer's security?

Experts say they have seen a surge in "phishing" attacks targeting people working from home.Clicking on a link in an email or message could lead to installing malware on your device, writes CNN's Rishi Iyengar.

The 2008 recession was nicknamed the "mancession." Today, it looks like women are bearing the brunt of the economic fallout.

Last week, we learned that the economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April and that the unemployment rate soared to 14.7%.

That's stunning.

But the situation is even more devastating for women. The unemployment rate for women increased to 15.5%, while the rate for men rose to 13%.

Here's what's going on: Women are overrepresented in jobs that can't be done remotely, like hospitality and retail, reports CNN's Anneken Tappe.

It's getting harder to find credit these days.

Banks are tightening their grip when it comes to extending credit. Credit card holders have seen their credit limits reduced or even discovered that cards have been closed involuntarily. And tapping your home's equity for a loan could also be off the table, as some banks have stopped accepting applications.

But consumers still have some options if they are struggling financially. Some lenders are offering coronavirus-specific personal loans and Congress has temporarily changed the rules for tapping a 401(k).

Keep in mind, there are risks involved when it comes to dipping into your retirement savings, so make sure you understand the long-term implications.

You might not be using your car every day to commute to and from work, but the car payments are still coming due.

If you are struggling to make your monthly payments, the first thing you need to do is speak up, according to CNN's Peter Valdes-Dapena. Don't wait until you miss a payment.

Many auto lenders are offering assistance to customers having a hard time making ends meet because of coronavirus shutdowns.

No one is wearing pants these days. Well, at least not new pants.

People did a lot of online shopping last month, as many retailers offered the type of discounts that are usually seen around Black Friday.

So what are people buying? Being comfy at home seems to be a top priority, as pajama sales soared 143%. Sales of pants declined 13%, according to Adobe Analytics.

Not surprisingly, online grocery store sales rose by 11% between March and April.

While many retailers are dropping prices to entice customers, not everything is being discounted. For instance, computer prices increased 3.1% last month.

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Here's what the office could look like post pandemic - CNN

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May 15th, 2020 at 9:44 am

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