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Most Dealbreaker readers have been working from home for the better part of three months now. While perhaps initially an appealing novelty at worst and a heady glimpse of a brighter, happier, more permanent future at best, for many the bloom is very much off this particular rose, driven away by the constant noise produced by children; the nauseating claustrophobia of an Upper West Side apartment, the crushing boredom of that Hudson Valley Airbnb or, worst of all, sharing a roof with one’s parents; the realization that perhaps, before all this started, you saw your significant other the exact right amount; or the nostalgia for a cold beer at the bar by the office or a very large stake on the company or client’s dime.

The good news for those eager to get the hell out of the house no matter how deadly the subway might be is, New York is (kinda) open for business again, and some few of you will be freed from the shackles of your residence shortly. The bad news is, well, be careful what you wish for.

Grab-and-go packaged meals may replace midday generous buffets and three-figure lunches. Plexiglass could divvy up trading floors the size of football fields. Heat maps, accessible on a mobile app, will help identify the restrooms with the smallest crowds…. Firms will be trying to space people out in cafeterias, elevators and cubicle zones. Restrooms will pose a particular challenge, especially on trading floors where hundreds of people work shoulder to shoulder. To mitigate the problem, RXR Realty’s new tenant app will allow workers to view heat maps of restrooms to avoid those with higher traffic. Workstations will also be tagged with QR codes that employees can scan if they want to request a deep cleaning.

Also, you have to put pants on, and possibly start shaving and showering again. In which case…

The logistical headaches and continued safety concerns have some companies thinking it’s just not worth hurrying…. “I was definitely concerned about the workability of working from home,” said Jen Roth, who runs Goldman Sachs’s currencies and emerging markets business in the United States. “I have been shockingly surprised.”

Boxed Lunches and Plexiglass Will Welcome Back Wall Street’s Workers [NYT]



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