Lesson plan: Office life after covid

Lesson plan: Office life after covid

Lead in: How has you life changed in terms of working form home? What are the advantages or disadvantages? Do you think you are more or less productive?

Put these statistics in the correct places:

35%, 33%, 86%, 1 in 5, 47%, 20%, 40%, 1 in 3

Check if you are correct here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/20/style/working-from-home.html

How would you and your friends answer this survey, do you think?


Why do you think people work in offices? Historically and now? How has this changed?

Watch 0.00-3.58 to find the answer to these questions.

Are the following true or false:

  • Offices began with the industrial revolution
  • The internet has radically changed the function of offices
  • Some companies want to eliminate offices altogether.
  • Before the industrial revolution people were not paid per hour of work.
  • Technology companies do more remote working than other companies.

Focus on Language

Use the following words to complete the sentences below.

will become, could take, has shaped, is really only starting, were organised, could have

  1. The need for workers to gather together in offices _______________almost every aspect of modern life
  2. The shift towards remote working________________ far-reaching consequences
  3. Factories required everyone to be together, so they _____________ advantage of the powered machinery.
  4. Early offices _______________ into rows of desks for clerks, overseen by a central manager.
  5. Office design __________________ to reflect that change.
  6. If the office ceases to be the centre of working life, the idea of working set hours ____________ less meaningful.

Discussion: How is your office normally arranged? What technology / organisational structures does that reflect? Could it be done in different ways?

Part 2

What do you think this work from home trend will have? Who do you think it will affect, and in what ways?

Watch 4.00 – 8.46 and find out.

What does the video say about:

  • Non knowledge worker jobs
  • Cities
  • How the recession has affected women
  • Possible effects on women in the future
  • Difficulties replicating some aspects of office life.

Language Focus

Complete the following sentences with the following connections

although, for, might, if, as, in general

  • ____________ every knowledge job there are other jobs that rely on that job
  • ____________ they were to become remote positions, it would have a profound effect on the jobs they support in the modern economy
  • ________________ , the higher a country’s GDP per head, the more people are able to work remotely.
  • In previous recessions men have been more likely to have been laid off, _________ they are more heavily represented in manufacturing
  • I think that it ___________ be a good thing for women
  • ____________ offices are sitting empty, corporate leases can last for a decade

Discussion: Do you agree with the video’s conclusions? Do you think offices and cities will change in the future?


How do you think your office might change if you go back to work?

Read following titles from this article. What do you think they refer to? Do you think they will be implemented in your workspace? Do you think you would find them easy or difficult?

  • ‘De-densifying’ is the new ‘social distancing’
  • Say goodbye to big meetings and staff socials for now
  • PPE at work will be the new normal
  • Wipe it down
  • Expect to have your temperature taken regularly
  • Prepare for your healthcare plan to change

Read a section and take notes. answer the following questions about the section:

  1. What is the change?
  2. How will it affect office life?
  3. Who will it be difficult for (the employee, employer, will it cost more)
  4. Do you think it would be a good idea for your workplace?

Explain the change to your colleague. As a group, which changes do you think should be implemented? Do you think other things should be done?


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