Covid-19 kills the open floorplan office

by Volker Weber

Indoor spaces, with limited air exchange or recycled air and lots of people, are concerning from a transmission standpoint. We know that 60 people in a volleyball court-sized room (choir) results in massive infections. Same situation with the restaurant and the call center. Social distancing guidelines don't hold in indoor spaces where you spend a lot of time, as people on the opposite side of the room were infected.

Read the whole thing to understand why our current plan to reopen offices is not going to work.

More >


Did Covid-19 kill the open floorplan office, or the office altogether as we know it. I suspect when this is all said and done the number of full time remote workers will increase dramatically

Mitch Cohen, 2020-05-12

Wow, time being a factor ... didn’t consider that so far.

That sets a new perspective on sitting in a restaurant, going to a fitness studio, climbing in my boulder hall or similar places ... even with using social distancing guidelines.

Gaerttner Harald, 2020-05-12

Mitch, I agree with you on that one. As I said in early March: if you cannot work from home now, next year you can. And then things moved a lot faster than anticipated.

Sitting down with other people to eat is a really bad idea, Harald.

Volker Weber, 2020-05-12

This does not look good for school reopenings.

Even wearing a mask during class will not help, when sitting in a small room with dozens of colleagues for several hours.

Simon Laule, 2020-05-12

I have no idea why fitness studios are allowed to open.

Christian Just, 2020-05-12

So happy to see the open plan office go!

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2020-05-12

My wife works with preschoolers (3-5 year olds, many with special needs), and it is very hard to imagine any safe way to reopen those classes, and yet also very hard to imagine the impact on modern families which necessitate dual wage earners without the schools reopening. Every classroom is an open office plan, and with "workers" who sneeze on you and don't understand social distancing or proper handwashing.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2020-05-12

Surprisingly, in the Heinsberg county study, one of the results was that infections rates within a household were surprisingly low. I‘ve seen it reported differently, some reported that where someone was infected, the rate of spreading the infection to the people he lived with in the same household was only 15%. Elsewhere I saw it reported that only 15% of the infections seemed to have happend in the household.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2020-05-13

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe