After COVID-19, the office will look very different from the beginning of 2020. Businesses are trying to reduce the number of people in the office to a minimum, distribute personal protective equipment and control the flow of people around the office. building to ensure social distancing.
Reviewing sick leave policies and drawing up new evacuation plans are some of the things that Companies returning to the office, while others reconsider how their workplace is used or consider whether they will stop working altogether.
Here are some tips for those who plan to reopen their closed workplaces:
Safety is paramount and returning to the office should be planned gradually and carefully. Social distancing is essential, so companies need to plan how to bring it back safety staff, keep staff low and ensure that offices are adequately spaced. Companies may also close public spaces and insist that staff eat at their desk.
Real estate review
Twitter has already told its staff that they do not need to go back to the office and the success of homework means that many companies will do the same. But that does not mean they will close their offices completely, at least for now.
Instead, companies may be looking to reuse the workspace for special events, said Jason Deshayes of the Cook Wealth Management Group, based in North Carolina. Offices could be converted into spaces cooperation to generate ideas for creative strategies or host live tutorials events and remote conferences and client meetings, he said.
For companies that pay very high rent, renting a space could be an option to cover costs, said Deshayes, whose company is closer to remote work for the foreseeable future.
Make a plan for unexpected situations
Companies already have plans to evacuate offices in the event of fires or earthquakes, but now have to add emergencies to the list.
If an employee develops COVID-19 symptoms in the workplace, you need to know how to get him or her out of the building safely, Fitzgerald said. Companies may need to close one floor or an entire one building, before thoroughly cleaning, monitoring and locating all staff in contact with the employee and paying for a COVID-19 test, he said.
Convincing a home-based employee to return to the office can be challenging, but for high-risk employees, ie those with vulnerable members in the family or their children do their homework remotely, returning to work is simply not an option right now.
Companies need to ensure that this staff has the the right technology and resources to continue working from home. More companies are now more likely to consider flexible job applications than before the pandemic epidemic.
Policies covering sick leave, health benefits and work leave also need to be reviewed to adequately protect staff who test positive for COVID-19 or require self-isolation, Fitzgerald said. "Everything is in the air and everything is open for control at the moment, which is a good thing," he said.
Flexibility and quick thinking are essential for companies as they reopen their offices, with carefully planned solutions now likely to be revised as they face the rapidly evolving situation.
More than ever, communication is critical to ensuring that staff understand the latest leadership guidelines.