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ideas & options for

"New Normal" Workspaces

We’ve developed the following idea starters to help you understand ways to adapt your current workplace amidst the pandemic and consider implications for the future. Our primary goal during this time is to help you think about your spaces in a way that:

  • Considers the safety, health and wellness of your employees and visitors
  • Supports your company’s culture and ways of working
  • Provides maximum flexibility for fluid situations

As we ponder our "new normal" lives and workspaces, let's continue our conversation to ensure we’re providing a safe, smart environment as employees return to the workplace. 

Download research summary

Culture & Community


Culture is intrinsically tied to your brand through visual identity, emotional impact and physical experience. Your culture creates a sense of community. And your employees may have forged friendships in team spaces, collaborated in open areas or enjoyed lunch together in the café. 

The pandemic has disrupted that sense of community. Rebuilding it will mean addressing those intrinsic cultural characteristics. Consider the following:



Will employees continue to work remotely, alternate shifts or rotate schedules? Return to work in phases?



Can employees control their personal space? Can walls or screens be relocated to accommodate a fluid situation?



How can you incorporate social distancing? Are there ways to delineate space? Improve wayfinding?



Where can sanitation stations be placed? What is respiratory etiquette? Cleaning protocols?

where we've been and

Where We're Going

As you compare where we’ve been to where we’re going, one thing becomes apparent – our workplaces must be able to adapt to ever-changing, fluid situations. From point of entry to common areas to individual workstations, the "new normal" workplace needs to address capacity, space, flexibility and safety differently than it ever has before.


Before and After Pandemic Graphics-final-v2.jpg

The After

Click on the letters in red below to review our thought process and ideas for changes to consider for various spaces throughout a typical work environment.


Enclosed spaces or areas with poor ventilation can act as a breeding ground for viruses. Improve air circulation in training and conference rooms by:

  • Removing doors to create clear openings and eliminate high-touch doorknobs
  • Changing solid full-height panels to panels with open clerestory at the top
  • Rearrange lounge furniture to encourage social distancing
  • Position pods in key areas to help delineate space and provide a barrier between gathering areas and individual workstations
  • Use exterior panels of pods or architectural walls for wayfinding graphics
  • Combine freestanding screens with high-back seating to protect eating areas
  • Add sections of architectural wall to provide a physical barrier from traffic flow at entrance and exit; use panel surfaces for signage or sanitation stations
  • Add freestanding screens with sanitation stations to make it easy for employees and visitors to access hand sanitizer, especially as they enter and exit
  • Reposition screens as needed to direct traffic flow
  • Incorporate a check-in station outfitted with divider screens and sanitizing supplies
  • Use a markerboard screen for messaging or graphics

Overall Changes

  • Reduce, rearrange or reconfigure chairs and tables to comply with the 6' social distancing recommendations.
  • Place sanitation stations via freestanding screens throughout the space to encourage frequent hand sanitizing.

Additional Resources

Social Distancing Dividers 

View our standard and modified options for screens and dividers, which provide an easy way to define space, regulate traffic flow and provide acoustic and visual privacy.

Infection Control 

Review our guidelines which are acceptable for mitigating infection and maintaining the appearance, finish and function of your KI furniture.

Research Summary 

Download our comprehensive summary of research and ideas for how to redesign the post-pandemic workplace.


Let's Connect

We can help support your post-pandemic workplace.
Connect with your dedicated KI specialist to begin the discussion!

Contact My KI Specialist


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