Some of it will be to connect to offsite co-workers and clients, while other components will be used to reduce coronavirus transmission.
“There’s got to be a lot of touch-free features,” said Don Ricker, senior associate with global architecture, planning and design firm Gensler.
“We need to still be able to connect to the people who are working from home,” Ricker said. “We’re going to see more (conference room) screens. We’re going to have cameras.”
For onsite workers, electronic room scheduling will become even more important, he said.
Use of hands-free toilets and infrared thermometers will be other ways technology will help repopulate offices, said Megan Robinson, marketing team leader for NBS Commercial Interiors, a Troy-based Steelcase dealer that also provides cleaning services.
Employers also can use technology to gauge employee mental health with the added stress of COVID, she said.
“We’re going to be a little more fragile and the organization will have to be mindful of that,” she said.
That may include communicating company disinfecting and social distancing procedures to workers or taking surveys about employee morale.