The open-plan office is dead, long live the plexiglass work panopticon

Brian Roemmele writes that a large tech company has "just about zeroed out" the supply of plexiglass and office dividers.

"Had an interesting Zoom today with a group of architects and office planers," Roemmele posted on Twitter. "A nearly 100% sell-out of plexiglass and plastic/cloth office dividers. One very large tech company—just today made an order for ~5000 that just about zeroed our all in the US. 3 month backlog."

The future of more adaptable working arrangements centered on telecommuting, with all the good and bad elements this implies, was always a fantasy. The likely reality is everyone being hauled back into the office as quickly as possible, returning to translucent cubicles and an overwhelming array of theatrical medical-security protocols that boil down distancing, personal surveillance, scheduled movements and no AC into a perfectly soul-deadening nexus of liability management.

The good news, though, is that open-plan offices are dead!