The recent months have brought with them many challenges to the way we all do business. We’ve seen an unprecedented move from office working to home working and many businesses have been forced to fast-track their digital transformation in order to stay connected and run their businesses from the comfort of their own homes.
With the Government guidance published recently on how businesses can work safely during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we look into what the new office environment may look like in the future and how your business can prepare for a staged return to the workplace.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has stated social distancing measures are set to remain in place for “some time”. With the recent trend for open plan offices and break-out areas this means many environments will need to adapt to a new way of working. It is unlikely businesses will have the budget to redesign their complete office, therefore, staff rotations and staggered working hours along with small changes are likely.
A cost effective solution that many businesses are considering is the introduction of signage (as adopted in the supermarkets) to implement social distancing in communal areas. Including graphics on the floors, walls, corridors and lifts to show visual instructions and reminders of where people can stand and sit along with encouragement to create one way traffic where possible. Whilst for office spaces, free standing walls, desk dividers and partitions are likely to become the new norm.
Strict hygiene practices
Many people will be concerned and anxious about returning to the workplace and will want to know that businesses are doing all they can to protect their health and wellbeing. Therefore, it is key that businesses start putting plans into place now.
If your premises have been closed for a period of time you may want to consider a deep clean before you open. Once open, you will need to consider how you will implement strict hygiene practices, review cleaning arrangements and ensuring your teams have a continued supply of hand wash and santitiser available at all times.
Encouragement of continued home working
With staggered working hours and staff rotations looking like the easiest transition back into working life, an element of homeworking could be here to stay for the foreseeable. Therefore, many businesses will now be looking into how they can make working from home as productive and cost effective as possible. This includes meeting the changing demands of workers and providing employees with the different products they need to help them work, play and keep busy whilst they adjust to a new way of working.
Many businesses will also be looking into how they can keep in control of spiralling costs during extended periods of remote working.
Businesses will look to technology to help
Technology has played a huge part in helping businesses to continue operating during the lockdown and whilst many IT teams may have rushed to get systems into place, businesses will now be looking to adopt longer term processes on a more permanent and effective scale. This could include looking into new cloud technologies including secure infrastructures and professional video conferencing.
How can OfficeTeam help?
Working alongside Government guidance our expert sourcing team has been working hard to secure and develop the products and solutions your industry will need to keep your workplace safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Contact us today to find out more.