How we live, conduct business, travel, eat and connect has undoubtedly changed since the arrival of COVID-19. After months of working from home and having social distance practices become part of our everyday lives, businesses are starting to make the transition back to working from their offices.

Whether you are an employer or an employee, the workplace you are coming back to is likely to look quite a bit different than the one you left months ago.

Changes Are on The Horizon

  • Are safety protocols the new norm?
    • Many companies are taking extra precautions to keep a safe environment. When entering a business as an employee or visitor, you may be required to go through a screening procedure including temperature reads and symptom checks to ensure you are healthy.  To continue social distancing practices, work times and days could be staggered reducing the number of people in the office at once. PPE, such as masks, helps to stop the spread of disease, so you may find
      many wearing them in the office.
  • Reception revamps.
    • Reception and check-in desks are oftentimes the first point of contact. Temporary sneeze guards like Plexiglas may be put into place. A decrease in chairs, reading material, and community pens from these areas will help to maintain hygiene.
  • Re-orienting workstations.
    • Though businesses are open, they will still need to follow social distancing regulations. To maintain six feet spacing, desks will be moved and situated so people are not facing each other. Some will see the addition of floor markers directing traffic.   Assigned seating could be implemented to reduce sharing.
      g of office equipment.  Conference rooms will see a change in occupancy guidelines to keep the number of people in a room at ten or below.
  • What time is lunch?
    • How you buy and eat your lunch at work will be a new experience. Hours may be reduced, and limited food offered each day. There will be a rise in pre-packed items and the grab and go, touch less pay experience.

Something for Employers

  • Stagger your staff.
    • Do not bring back everyone at once, slowly reintroduce people to the office with a gradual return process. Keep in mind, some will feel uncomfortable coming back to the office just yet or be more vulnerable and prefer to work from home. It is important to prepare for this and have a plan in place to continue to support remote work.
  • Set up office rules.
    • Laying out a set of rules for your office will help your employees get on the same page of what their new work environment looks like. Specify things like physical distancing regulations, the practice of cleaning what you touch (desks, computers, printers, coffee machine), a change in behavior when it comes to sharing items, proper hand washing practices, and reiterating they should not come to the office if they feel ill in any way.
  • Employee moral.
    • Your employees may be excited to get back to our new normal or they may be wary of returning to the office environment. It is important as a leader, you acknowledge their concerns with sensitivity. Try to boost morale as it could be low during this time. Having and expressing to your team a positive mind set and goals for the future will encourage them. Constant communication will help you see what your employees need and leave them feeling reassured of their workplace moving forward.

 

Have questions regarding returning to work and your office set ups? Drop us a line at Solutions@thetek.com