The future of the office, how we’ll shop and pay
“As the curve flattens in many parts of the world and the movement to reopen the economy gains steam, I keep finding myself thinking about this seating plan.
As Holly Secon reported this week, 44% of workers on one floor of a South Korean call center got the coronavirus. The desks colored blue show where employees with confirmed cases sat.
For some of you, that seating plan might look a little like your bank of desks at the office. It certainly looks like mine.
A number of Business Insider reporters this week delved into what a return to work might look like, and how offices will have to be reconfigured to make a return possible:
- Joe Williams talked to the co-CEOs of Gensler, the largest architecture firm. They described the three ways that offices will change post-coronavirus.
- Alex Nicoll talked to seven real-estate experts about what to expect when you’re back in the office. They explained what the transition will look like, and why the workplace may never be the same.
- Mandatory temperature taking is largely seen as a critical way to return workers to offices. But Dan Geiger reported that some big NYC landlords are worried about its effectiveness.
- Alex and Meghan Morris reported that the coronavirus is a “nuclear bomb” for companies like WeWork. They talked to 10 real-estate insiders about the future of flex-office, and how employers are preparing now.
- And as WeWork and flex-space rivals stumble, 18 million square feet of space in NYC is at risk. Dan broke down what that means for the real-estate market.
- Nationwide is permanently moving a chunk of its employees to remote work. Joe talked to the CEO about what that means for operations at the insurance giant.
- Google will “stagger” its return to offices and extended work-from-home until June 1. Hugh Langley got his hands on the email CEO Sundar Pichai sent to staff.
- And Ashley Stewart reported on a guide to reopen your workplace, that’s based on best practice at Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Costco.
How we’ll shop and pay
There are other questions beyond whether we’ll go back to the office, when, and what it might look like. How will we shop? How will we pay? What felt normal in February — queueing for Chipotle in a packed restaurant and paying by bank card — now feels anachronistic.
- Shannen Balogh talked to two investors at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz about the new ways we’ll shop, bank, and pay, from livestreaming e-commerce to branchless banking.
- She talked to a Mastercard exec about a surge in contactless payments that’s giving the company an unexpected boost as people rethink touching cash.
- And she talked to PayPal cofounder Max Levchin about the future of brick-and-mortar retail, and the “software fight” that will go on behind the scenes.
- Patrick Coffee and Tanya Dua reported on how Burger King, Chipotle, Domino’s, and Subway are adapting their marketing as customers move to a delivery-based future.
- Shoshy Ciment talked to 10 CEOs from thriving DTC brands like Thinx and Magic Spoon about their playbooks for how companies can succeed amid a global pandemic.
- Gary Vaynerchuk is charging up to $250,000 to help companies shake up their e-commerce operations. Lucia Moses got her hands on his pitch deck.
- Appointment-only stores, hand sanitizing stations, and robots stocking shelves. Mary Hanbury took a look at how our shopping experience could change in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Lastly, Irene Jiang reported that UBS expects restaurant sales to plummet 40%, undoing 20 years of growth for the industry as grocery stores dominate. Kate Taylor talked to experts who predicted customer temperature checks and new fears of crowds.”