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Excerpt from keynote during Tango’s virtual retail summit Moving Forward: Workplace 2.0 on June 24-25, 2020.

Real Estate Strategies for a COVID-19 Workplace

Pranav Tyagi – President & CEO, Tango:

“These trends that we just talked about were not well suited in a pandemic. Open floor plans, which were the rage in the last couple of years, and the sharing of space by multiple people, may actually be counterproductive in a COVID environment. There was a “Wall Street Journal” article, that you see on the screen here, that referenced a 2017 study that looked to better understand the spread of a virus in an open floor configuration.

“This is a really interesting study. It’s almost like a proof of the concept of what would happen in an office environment. In this particular case, researchers placed a harmless virus on a doorknob in the office and the hands of one volunteer in a hundred person office in Tucson, Arizona. And it’s not a surprise that the harmless virus spread, but what was shocking was the pace at which the virus spread. Within four hours – four hours – the virus was on 50% of all the surfaces of the office. Interestingly, the break room was more contaminated than the restroom. The only good news here, was the use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting sprays and wipes reduced the prevalence of the virus by about 85%. But think of it this way, this was a harmless virus in an experimental situation in a hundred person office. COVID-19 is highly infectious and deadly. If this does not worry your business about the safety of their employees and potential liability, I’m not sure what will. I mean, this is the real sort of life test of what happens with the virus in an office environment.”

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