In its time, the open-office concept made good sense: Without partitioned cubicle walls or closed office doors, workspaces encouraged collaboration and creativity. The design facilitated drive-by conversations and brainstorms. The open flow of communication reigned.
The concept transformed our modern workspaces so entirely that coworking companies like WeWork became commonplace and desirable—the offices of the future. But then, of course, came COVID-19.
As leaders navigate return-to-office plans after the pandemic’s height, it’s become clear that our workplaces simply can’t be as they once were. For one thing, employees no longer see modern, open-concept offices as something to covet. If anything, they might not want to be in offices at all.