Office Space: So Last Year?

Did coronavirus bring certain death to the traditional concept of the office, or is it only a matter of time until we return to business as usual?

June 10, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By Lee Flannery @leecflannery


View of sky reflected in windows of Tour Montparnasse in Paris

Juanedc.com / flickr

Nixey says that offices have been on their way out for a while now. "A combination of rising rents, the digital revolution and increased demands for flexible working meant its population was slowly emigrating to different milieux. More than half of the Ameri­can workforce already worked remotely, at least some of the time," Nixey reflects. Did coronavirus forever change organizational culture, giving the boot to the office workspace as we knew it?

When the valuation of office sublet company WeWork fell from $47 billion to about $12 billion, it became unclear if bougie snacks, natural light, and modern furniture were enough to keep the workforce at their desks. In addition to the physical toll of sitting at a desk for 8 waking hours per day, Nixey wonders if people are taking note of the more philosophical benefits of spending more time away from the office touted by thinkers like Thoreau and Wordsworth. Nonetheless, humans are social creatures and need social encounters to maintain a sense of connection and personhood. Perhaps this connection is one of the benefits of the traditional office, concedes Nixey. 


Monday, June 8, 2020 in The Economist

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Downtown Dallas

Short-Term Rentals Vex Dallas City Council

Residents complain that vacation rentals exacerbate the city’s housing shortage and bring traffic and noise to residential neighborhoods, calling on the city to impose—and enforce—stricter regulations.

May 17 - The Dallas Morning News

Traffic Safety Advocates

Traffic Fatalities Set Records as Pandemic-Era Road Carnage Shows No Signs of Stopping

An estimated 42,915 people died in automobile crashes in 2021, according to recent federal data. The increasing fatalities continue a trend that began with the outset of the pandemic.

May 17 - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Driver Shortage Undercuts the Potential of L.A.’s Recent Bus System Redesign

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority implemented a complete overhaul of its bus system in three waves over the course of 2021. A shortage of drivers for the system has made it impossible to implement that vision.

May 17 - TransitCenter

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.