Will coronavirus bring cubicles back to office spaces?

Apr 10, 2021 2:45:00 PM | Will coronavirus bring cubicles back to office spaces?

CEO’s around the world are grappling with how to protect their teams when offices are fully reopened. Some have questioned if the office world will return back to the 90’s cubicle layouts.

CEOs worldwide are grappling with how to protect their teams when offices reopen. Some have questioned if the office world will return to the 90’s cubicle layouts.

However, research from a call center in South Korea proved these measures wouldn’t effectively combat the virus...

A single infected employee came to work on the 11th floor.

Figure 1. Floor plan of the 11th floor of building X, site of a coronavirus disease outbreak, Seoul, South Korea, 2020. Blue coloring indicates the seating places of persons with confirmed cases.

This floor had 216 employees. Within one week, 92 people on the floor reflected symptoms testing positive for the virus, and two tested positive but remained asymptomatic. The side of the floor with the original infected person was the most impacted. The other side of the floor had very few infections.

Figure 2. Epidemic curve of a coronavirus disease outbreak in a call center, by date of symptom onset, Seoul, Korea, 2020. Asymptomatic cases are excluded.

Interestingly, even though there was considerable interaction between employees on different building floors in elevators and the lobby, the outbreak was mostly limited to a single floor. All other floors combined only saw three total cases. These cases were not traceable to the infection in the 11th-floor cluster.

The number of people infected by respiratory droplets/respiratory exposure versus fomite transmission (door handles, shared water coolers, elevator buttons, etc.) is unknown. The findings show that being in an enclosed space and sharing the same air for prolonged periods increases the chances of exposure and infection.


Contact inspace to help your office develop a plan to protect your office during these uncertain times.

SCHEDULE A DEMO→