Sure, office planners can certainly envision a new workplace: new cubicle designs, touchless elevator buttons, ventilation-system upgrades to ensure fresh air, rigorous cleaning protocols, schedule shifting, and the closure of common spaces. Employers are looking to invest in their own rigorous testing systems—something the federal government has been unable or unwilling to set up—and may require temperature checks for all employees. It all sounds so grim, time-consuming, and expensive. If your morning routine wasn’t long enough already, you’ll love waiting in socially distanced lines to get your forehead scanned.
The other option for remote workers is: Just don’t go back.
Some employers—including the tech giants Google and Facebook—have already extended work-from-home policies into late fall or early next year. That buys them time for governmental testing and tracing efforts to improve and for better treatments to become available. Twitter went a step further and is now allowing employees to work from home “forever.” That’s a long time. And lest anyone think liberal West Coast tech companies are the only ones making these moves, Fox News has extended its own work-from-home directive until June 15.