You’re headed into the office, but instead of the predictable touchpad entry and door handle, the door opens automatically after using facial recognition to confirm your identity. A non-contact thermometer has already taken your temperature.

Navigating a physically-distanced layout to reach your workspace, you are greeted with high screens that can be made opaque to provide privacy or transparent for group collaboration. These electrochemically dimmable windows (EDW) are seen in newer aircraft windows. They decrease person-to-person contact, cut noise and help keep sneezes and coughs from traveling between coworkers. These screens provide the best of both worlds: the collaborative, open-concept offices of the 90’s boom and the privacy of cubicles. Vents push air downward, preventing the circulation of germs.

With a touch of your foot or elbow, a drawer slides out to store your bag. The pulls and knobs are now made of copper, the most effective material to keep germs from lingering. Your desk has a sanitizing dispenser that responds to a gesture.

You stroll to the coffee machine with your personal mug, which you fill through a touchless interface. Platters of baked goods have been replaced by kiosks that dispense snacks you access with sensory technology or an app on your personal device. The water fountains have only touch sensors to fill a cup you carry away with you. Gone are the days of bending over the water fountain and splashing water all over the basin and spigot.

Lunch meetings at work have changed, too. There are no more open buffets or jumbo buckets of popcorn. Instead of packing a large group into common space, you step outside on a large, open balcony or outdoor space.

You are more aware of your coworkers’ personal habits and your physical privacy than you were previously. This pandemic has forced us to change our behaviors. Now, we effectively have fully-functional satellite offices at our own homes, allowing us a safe, convenient, efficient, cost-effective way to work and care for family. That may be worth fighting to keep.