More and more of us are returning to the office, rather than working from home. However, going back to work for many of us is going to look pretty different to how things were when we left. Some of the changes can feel a little surreal, as people are in masks and there are large partitions to keep people apart.
For some it could be a little lonely, as meetings may still take place virtually rather than in person, and many businesses will phase the return to work, bringing people back in groups and at different times. With all of that being said, though, there is still plenty of opportunity to make your office and your business better than ever, even with the new normal.
Returning to Work
One of the immediate things that a business needs to think about is bringing people back, but only doing it when it is safe to do so. The pandemic has taken a toll on the economy, as well as people’s lives. So, making it a priority to get back to work is important, but people need to feel safe in doing so.
If you are looking for some ideas for the workplace, then you need to introduce some sensible strategies, such as having social distancing. This could involve moving desks apart, taking out certain chairs, adding in some barriers, and even getting some line marking printed on the floors. Cleaning is a number one priority, and you may need to get your cleaning team in more often or for longer.
More People Returning
Some people will continue to work from home for longer, but in the long-term, the goal needs to be getting everyone back to how things were, to some degree at least. So the next step needs to be all about allowing more people to come back and return to work. When you’re thinking about the office space, then you need to make sure that you make a new layout in the office, to make being more distant less sterile and more comfortable. You could add in glass or some higher screens, and make sure that all of the materials that you use are able to be cleaned by bleach. There will still be a big need for things like video conferencing, so there needs to be an allowance for that in the way that your office is designed. You could still offer some working from home, to offer a little flexibility for your team.
Time seems to have flown by in this global pandemic, with lockdown happening in the majority of places happening in March, and here we are, now in August. So, when you think about it, moving forward and planning ahead can come around really quickly. As a business you will want to return to some level of normalcy, but at the same time, make sure that you are able to move the business forward so that it can thrive and grow. As we go forward in redesigning our workplaces, think about the use of technology to help with safety, as well as helping employee wellbeing.