I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

I have heard many people long to get back to the office because they want to be with their colleagues. That’s understandable, we are social creatures after all.

However, to think things will be normal back at the office during this pandemic is unrealistic and betrays a lack of understanding of how this virus spreads when people are in close proximity to each other. Which is why there are protocols to be adhered to.

Prof Juliette Kayyem explains:

“Any return to work before a vaccine is available will have employees distanced, [and] masked. Many offices will operate with reduced occupancy. The places where people normally gather—conference rooms, the break room, the watercooler—may be off-limits. The corporate culture that so many employers prize is based on a level of interaction that will not be regained simply by being in the same building, let alone being in the same building with only a fraction of the workforce present. Until a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, corporate culture is over.”

Given the circumstances the best policy right now is to do the necessary work to make remote work work. It will make your business more resilient and less prone to disruption.