As lockdown eases after almost two months of self-isolation and working from home, employers need to start planning for employees to return to the office. This return, however, won’t be under normal circumstances. Without a vaccine for COVID-19, employers and employees still need to be careful to avoid infection.
This is called the management phase of the crisis and it could extend well into 2021. It involves reorganising how we travel, work, eat, move, congregate and connect. As a result, business leaders need to be on the ball to protect not only their safety, and that of their employees, but also the wider community.
While the return to work is important for businesses struggling due to the disruption of social isolation, remote working and travel restrictions, the return needs to be well handled.
Today Premier Office Furniture is going to discuss returning to work after COVID-19.
1: Returning to Work after COVID-19 – Rearranging Office Workstations
While working from home is likely to continue for some employees, office life will need to change for those returning to work after COVID-19. Employers will need to adapt and redesign workplaces to fit the new 2 metre distance rule. Over the past decade, office desks have shrunk, and co-working spaces have been on the rise. Now, however, it simply isn’t safe for employees to work so closely together.
Instead, a return to individual spaces and offices is on the horizon. Individual offices are expensive for those with large businesses, which is why Premier Office Furniture recommends cubicles and partitioning. This gives employees their own space and allows employers to observe proper social distancing at work.
The team at Premier Office Furniture is adept at designing, supplying and fitting out the perfect office spaces. Let us help you create the perfect, safety conscious workplace for when your employees return. As well as cubicle and partitioning construction, we can provide safety screens and sneeze guards so your employees feel more at ease returning to work.
2: Sneeze Guards and Protective Measures
We’re already seeing new, protective measures appearing throughout the retail industry. Sneeze guards and protective plastic shields are popular, keeping employees separated from the public without limiting their ability to work. The same ideas can be applied to the office space, especially to protect reception staff who experience the greatest influx of visitors throughout the day.
Protective screens are also possible in the office space itself, so that employees don’t feel cut off from their fellow workers in their cubicle. Premier Office Furniture specialises in the installation and fitting of sneeze guards. Talk to us today about installing custom-made protective guards!
Giving employees access to hand sanitiser is also incredibly important during these times. This helps your employees keep up with hygiene standards required during this pandemic crisis. By doing so, you are not only helping increase the safety of your workplace, but also the wider community. Talk to the team at Premier Office furniture, today, about our state-of-the-art hand sanitiser and hand sanitiser stands. We can help you create the perfect hygiene stations throughout your office for those returning to work after COVID-19. Hand sanitiser stations are also perfect for offices and locations with a large volume of visitors, helping ensure these visitors also maintain hygiene standards.
Further, installing automatic thermometers at the entry way to your office can help determine if someone is sick before they have a chance to infect the office. This is a hands-off approach that allows you to screen anyone entering the office.
3: Social Distancing Signage and Returning to Work after COVID-19
Signage, post-COVID-19 lockdown is important for offices. Lines for safe queuing in lobbies are important, as well as standing spots in elevators. 2 metre circles around desks are also important, to ensure employees maintain social distancing measures. Further, creating lanes in corridors, to prevent overcrowding, can help limit the spread of infection.
Signage helps create clear communication between employers, employees and HR, to ensure social distancing is maintained. Further, signage reminding and encouraging good hygiene, symptom checks, and cleaning recommendations are also helpful. Premier Office Furniture has a wide range of signage available to help you fit out your office space as employees return to work.
4: Returning to Work after COVID-19 – Office Redesign and Fitting Out
If your office once encouraged co-working spaces and large, open plan designs, it might be time for an office redesign and fit out. While in the past we aimed at breaking down the barriers between teams, now we want division for safety.
This may mean breaking down old co-working and hot-desk spaces, and replacing them with thoughtfully designed cubicles. Well-spaced cubicles and desks, 2 metre boundaries between employees, and plenty of fresh air and light are extremely important post COVID-19.
Premier Office Furniture specialises in thoughtful, well-designed office fit outs. Let us help you redesign your office to comply with COVID-19 health restrictions while maintaining the modern look and design you’ve come to expect from your office space.
5: Fresh Air and Natural Light
For years, office designers have been pushing the idea of office spaces full of fresh air and natural light. While many workplaces have been resistant, this is the perfect time to change your mind. Proper ventilation is also important in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Large windows that allow for natural light and good ventilation are important now, more than ever.
If windows can’t open your windows, then climate control systems in the office space are paramount. This allows the office to be pumped full of fresh air, without the risk of the infection growing and spreading through outdated air conditioning systems.
6: Prepare for Remote Working to Continue
Unfortunately, some employees are more vulnerable than others when it comes to COVID-19. Others live with those vulnerable to the infection. As a result, ensuring employees can continue working from home, until we get a vaccine and even beyond, is important. This not only involves ensuring technology infrastructure stays in place – or is improved – but that remote working employees have the right equipment.
Businesses, including Twitter, are providing employees with options and infrastructure in order to continue working from home. This includes workstations, ergonomic seating, technology and electronics in order to ensure remote working remains safe and profitable.
Ensuring an employee has an appropriate home office environment improves productivity. It also safeguards the health of your remote employees. Explore Premier Office Furniture’s range of office and home office furniture. Let us help you create the perfect in office and home office environments for your employees.
There is no doubt that offices are changing, much faster than any of us could have imagined. And in order to protect ourselves while returning to work after COVID-19, changes need to be made in the way we do business and structure our office spaces. If you need help redesigning, re-planning, or fitting out your office in anticipation of your employees returning, contact the team at Premier Office Furniture today. We can help you create a space that is appealing while respecting social distancing requirements.