Workplaces will not be the same again when employees return from coronavirus lockdowns

Workplace dynamics will likely be transformed by the time everyone returns to the office again after coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted or eased, experts told CNBC.

“The office will not go away, but the need of the office space may reduce,” said Carol Wong, director and head of workplace delivery for Asia Pacific at global commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. “People will always need physical space and they always want to meet face to face.”

Still, worries over hygiene will continue to top concerns as employees return to the workplace, and companies will need to take new measures to minimize the number of hand contact surfaces. Some of these steps include the introduction of infrared temperature checks as well as the use of facial recognition for identity verification, Wong added.

Wong is currently working with clients in China to bring employees back to the office. She said about 10,000 companies and nearly a million workers have returned to the office so far. The country, where the earliest cases of coronavirus were reported, has been closely watched as the world looks for clues on what easing of lockdown measures would look like, and how the reopening of economies could be.

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