Back to The Office Post-COVID 19
Now that the Corona pandemic has shown us how fragile our society can be, we are finding new ways to adapt and work together.
When you first heard about COVID-19, it may have seemed like an impossible dream: working from home. But in the wake of this virus that swept across Earth, many people got to experience life without commuting or office politics for the very first time.
Many companies have already started to change their offices and work habits because of the pandemic.
But what will the pandemic’s residual effects be on how we work and operate in our offices?
Remote-working has given employees the opportunity to spend more time with their families and stay healthy, while also giving them a chance for increased productivity. However, many tenants have found that they miss interacting with colleagues in person or socializing over lunch at work because of working from home too much.
By organizing community events that are free and in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols, property managers can help employees reconnect to their workplace. This is important because people generally enjoy themselves more when they feel recognized for the work they do – no matter what kind of work it may be.
Employers have a responsibility to get involved in their employees well being by hosting fun activities like fitness classes or lunchtime gatherings at designated areas within buildings where everyone feels safe from any potential dangers caused by COVID-19 outbreaks.
With many staff choosing to remain at home for the time being or work remotely more frequently, these occasions will need to be virtually inclusive to ensure employees still feel that community connection.
In the face of COVID-19, many people are fearful for their health and safety. With herd immunity on its way to being achieved, however, firms will need to take extra steps during the cleaning process such as adopting rigorous procedures for customers and employees.
The CDC has issued a set of recommendations that detail how cleanings should be done in response to this pandemic virus outbreak.
Procedures will need to be adjusted so that employees are not exposed when coming into contact with the virus, which can mean minimizing touchpoints or creating a disinfection protocol for outbound products as well. Clearly defined procedures must also take place at each step of the supply chain, including expectations set by management on their employees interacting with customers who might have been infected.
They now need specific protocols in place that optimize the prevention of exposure at all levels: from providing gloves and masks for customer-facing environments; adopting HACCP principles across the supply chain; minimizing touchpoints by creating disinfection procedures while diversifying sourcing among vendors who can guarantee product integrity (such as fresh produce). These changes will be essential not only so workers feel safe but also because they want customers back. Check Minster’s infographic below to get useful information, before considering getting back to the office:
Guidance on building operations
As a result of the unfortunate and sudden lack of guidance, there is no one correct way to reopen buildings after an emergency. While this will most likely change in time with more information being released on how best for organizations to reopen their office space until then each organization has its own set criteria they must follow when reopening their building.
The recent pandemic made it difficult for many employees as they had no idea what steps were necessary or even allowed during the recovery process which left them feeling frustrated and uncertain about whether opening up again was the right choice.
Keep your employees happy and healthy with a proactive approach to ensuring they have safe, comfortable entry into the office. Encourage them to review recommendations from their building’s landlord for cleaning schedules and other policies that could affect them greatly.
Consider every touchpoint between an employee’s parking spot and their desk, including the entry to the building, use of elevators shared with other employees. Be prepared to advocate when necessary on behalf of your people who need a better working environment.
Technology has been a necessity for people to work remotely, but it also comes with increased concerns. Alongside the recent movements of businesses and tech companies away from large office buildings in the home offices, there are heightened security measures that come into play when these spaces open up.
It’s become apparent now how important technology is in our lives as we rely on its protection not only within ourselves at home or while traveling abroad but even closer to home where our computers may be located – inside an office building full of other professionals who have access to them if they’re unlocked by mistake.
Investments in telework capacity
It’s crucial for organizations as well as teams with distributed employees to ensure their communication channels remain open so everyone can collaborate effectively despite being apart from each other at times.
Telework is a win-win. For those who are able to work remotely, teleworking has been shown to increase productivity and improve their quality of life while saving companies money on infrastructure costs for office space. The technologies that make it possible are also well suited for other forms of distributed workplaces such as co-working spaces or the gig economy where employees can be hired from just about anywhere in the world.
The good news about investing in telework capacity is that improvements like communication management and technology will benefit everyone at any company no matter how they choose to work (teleworkers vs non-teleworkers).
As we return to the office, it is imperative that our decisions are mindful of how they will affect us in the long run. We have to take care of ourselves as well as others around us if we want any chance at recovery from this situation.
The return to work requires a sustained effort over time and must have an overarching focus on building confidence in employees that the building they are coming back to is safe.