The conventional and long-established workplace, with its working modalities may be drastically challenged, more than any other building type, following the disruptive and instant changes imposed by the recent global pandemic. The subsequent measures taken resulted in a complete disruption to the office employee experience. All indicators show that the pandemic is likely to change or accelerate the new working models, but it may also inspire technological advances related to the health and satisfaction of building occupants. This research aims to explore and identify the impacts of the pandemic on the workplace with a focus on the users' concerns, experiences, satisfaction, and expectations. The main purpose is to investigate how the pandemic may be shifting the working model and what may be its implications on workplace design. A survey was designed to explore three main aspects. First, the employees' concerns and fears about returning to the workplace, second, the impact of the pandemic on the work model, and third, the participants' expectations for the future of office design and layout. The survey was carried in November 2020 with 68 employees of a UAE government ministry in Abu Dhabi. The results showed that the main concerns of the participants were related to the health implications on their families and themselves. Over half of the survey respondents preferred a mixed working mode (57%), or even working fully from home (26%). The respondents indicated that they remained more or equally productive while working from home. Interaction and socializing with peers were the most missed workplace activities. In terms of office layout, an increased distance between workstations was preferred by over 57%, while 38% favored work in individual offices. The outcomes indicate a critical need to revise the current work models and explore the possible shift to a hybrid home-office work that ultimately will incite drawing new guidelines for office design.