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Working environments after the coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly be different from what we left behind.
When the pandemic finally slows, how are we preparing to come back into the workplace? Developing a plan to improve remote work conditions, adapt the workplace, and ensure safety will be necessary for every business.
This article will help prepare your business and staff for heading back into the workforce in a post-COVID world.
The modern workforce has increasingly embraced the concept of employees working remotely, especially recently.
When it comes to mitigating the effects of COVID-19, social distancing measures are still among the most effective strategies at our disposal. Consequently, extended work-from-home orders are still very much on the table at a lot of organizations.
But the positive effects of remote work don't just stop at COVID-19. Multiple studies have outlined the benefits of remote work, including: stress reduction, increased productivity, a broader talent pool, and better employee retention rates.
Even so, it is necessary to establish ground rules to keep the remote work program effective and manageable. A few ways to improve remote working conditions include:
Companies can assure workers by implementing remote work capabilities that allow day-to-day operations to continue with very little interference.
A recent study by the PR firm Bospar found that more than half of working Americans are worried about contracting the coronavirus this year.
The trend of open floor plans has employees sitting closer to each other than ever before, and this design presents new challenges with potentially unsafe distancing and group interactions in common areas.
In the near term, businesses should focus on preparations to sanitize the office environment, reconsider the office layout, and limit social interactions.
Even if your company already follows guidelines, this pandemic is an opportunity to encourage new procedures.
The CDC provides recommendations on cleaning and disinfection around the novel coronavirus. A few ways to improve the cleanliness of the office environment:
When Americans return to work, many will be returning to office conditions that do not incorporate social distancing or areas that could surely spread germs.
An estimated 70% of American offices use some form of the open floor plan. The open floor plan design that promoted collaboration and creativity could disappear this decade.
Some suggested steps to ease this transition and prepare for the near future in advance might be to:
The future unfolding demands for social behavior to change and interact in new ways that reduce the spread of germs.
Implement procedures such as: avoid handshakes, videoconference when appropriate, increase line space when waiting in break rooms, meet in larger conference rooms (if applicable), restrict outside visitors from entering unless necessary.
While many of us are working remotely today, and it is critical to begin preparations for tomorrow, it is paramount to consider how to ensure a safe future.
Viruses and bacteria are easily discarded as an afterthought by many, but with the recent pandemic, becoming acutely aware of invisible dangers and protecting everyone from harm will ensure this pandemic will not be as invasive in the future.
This can be managed effectively by implementing a continuity plan, training, and office design.
Most companies already have policies and procedures in place to encourage safe working environments. With the way our world is now changing, it is critical to update these documents to prevent viral outbreaks within your company:
The safety of everyone in your company is dependent upon all employees being aware and taking necessary precautions to prevent infections. Develop several training courses around physical health, pandemics, and company procedures.
Topics might include:
The coronavirus will steer companies to adjust to creating a healthier and safer workplace, opting for antimicrobial materials throughout the office, cleaner office furniture, incorporating advanced technology, and fewer people in the office.
Recent studies have shown the coronavirus can remain stable on different surfaces for days. Businesses are looking for a way to increase safety in our working environments.
Workdesign.com says, “on average, 30 percent of an organization’s office space is being underutilized.” With repurposing underutilized spaces, businesses can create efficient office environments that become strategic tools to encourage success while having a healthier working condition.
You may decide now is the best time to relocate your business. According to Workdesign.com, “companies gearing up for the workplace of tomorrow will need the agility to meet the needs of their current and future workforce.” If the decision is made that relocation is the best alternative, McWaters Relocation Services will help in every step of the process.
No matter how much change the coronavirus brings to the workplace, McWaters is an office furniture solutions company that’s here to help businesses in Georgia and South Carolina stay up to date on all office trends. For more information about how we can provide your office with the latest commercial office furniture produced by Steelcase company, or relocation services, contact us.