Could this be a hint as to how offices will look post-pandemic?

Modular furniture throughout help keep workers separated if need be, while ergonomic chairs go easy on their bodies.

SAN ANTONIO — People are slowly, but gradually heading back into the office after being sent to work from home during the pandemic. But for many, the office may not look the same when they go back. 

Welcome to University Health’s brand new University Park campus on the city’s northwest side. 

“We started looking at where could we move to and where do we need to go to make sure we can manage the growth we have, but also socially distance,” said Ed Banos, chief operating officer for University Health. 

The organization purchased two buildings, each with 80,000 square feet, late last year. Business Center One has about 500 employees, many of whom have already relocated. They originally worked in HR and financial and business services in the hospital or another location. 

Some were working remotely, and will now work in a space where they can collaborate.

Business Center Two is still being equipped and is expected to be ready for employees in the early summer. It will have about 250 employees dedicated to staff training and professional development. 

“What we like about the flexibility of the space is that we know some of our departments are going to grow. We are a growing organization so we’ve built in a flexible space so we can add a cubicle into the space,” Banos said.

Offices are partially open to give an airy feel, but are separated to help workers socially distance. The modular Vari furniture also plays a big role.  

“We had an idea of layout but I think that’s where when we very first contacted them. They were so helpful because they came in and helped us with the design, helped us with concepts, and that’s where we really got the to the advantages of the Vari furniture,” Banos said.

Every office has Vari desks, allowing employees to work standing or sitting down. Meanwhile, ergonomic chairs are found throughout the monstrous space, as are frosted glass walls for conference rooms so nobody feels closed off. 

“We took a big empty building and compartmentalized it where it still gives the sense of departments but still gives you that open feeling the light the great work environment,” Banos said.

They’ve even got modular couches so employees can stay six feet apart if need be.

“We definitely feel this is a cultural shift the organization,” Banos said.