“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.

Coronavirus Disease Outbreak in Call Center, South Korea
Floor plan of the 11th floor of building X, site of a coronavirus disease outbreak, Seoul, South Korea, 2020. Blue coloring indicates the seating places of persons with confirmed cases. 
Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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:

Contactless payment


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.