A sketch of a modern commercial office

Contributed By Waterless Co.

America Recycles Day is Nov. 15. This year, expect more offices recycling furniture and fixtures than ever before. That's is because offices are "moving from a 'we' design to a 'me' design," said Klaus Reichardt, CEO and Founder of Waterless Co., Inc.

The "we" design has been the trend for some time and referred to as the "open office" or "open space" office. This is where many people work together in the same area, often at long tables.  

"While the goal of 'we' design was to promote teamwork and collaboration, it simply will not work in a post-COVID era, where social distancing will be paramount," said Richard.

"We" design will be replaced by "me" design. This will involve the reintroduction of individual workspaces, even if just separated by partitions. As this evolves, according to Reichardt, the office furnishings most likely to be recycled are the following:

- Long worktables

- Cafeteria tables and chairs

"We may not see cafeterias [open] for a while," said Reichardt.

- Small conference rooms with tables and chairs

"It's hard to social distance in these small rooms," he said.

- Sofa-style couches

"Modular or multi-section couches can be separated, allowing for social distancing," said Reichardt. 

- Toilets and urinals

According to Reichardt, office restrooms will be redesigned in the coming years, with the installation of new toilets and urinals.  

As to why new toilets and urinals, Reichardt says it comes down to two issues: health and water savings.

Due to the pandemic and health concerns, building managers want to start fresh, with brand new toilets and urinals.

To cut water and sewer costs and reduce water consumption, new toilets will be installed because they use water more efficiently. No-water urinals will also be selected because they use no water at all.

"Further, expect full-length partitions around fixtures; separate restroom entry and exit doors; and sinks moved to center islands to facilitate 'ingress and egress' in the restroom," said Reichardt.