Before we begin to return to the office, we need to assure that everyone feels safe as we begin to develop new workplace habits and protocols. We anticipate these changes to the workplace due to coronavirus will include new expectations of division, separation/orientation, and flexibility. We suggest scheduling a consultation with your iSpace account manager to see what strategies can be implemented to make staff feel comfortable and safe when returning to the office.
As many people are now working in an open and collaborative environment, we expect that some of our customers be looking to add space division where there was none before. Adding some screens to a height adjustable worksurface and provide a heightened level of comfort for each user. Or, where low panels have existed, customers may be interested in stacking on higher division screens provide more privacy between workers.
Additionally, companies may be looking to de-densify areas where previous real estate demands required close quarters. As we slowly re-enter the workplace, workstations could be reconfigured to allow for more separation between workers or every other desk could be left open to allow for the 6-foot separation between users. If density cannot be reimagined, reconfigurations could take place to allow workers who previously faced each other, to now have staggered or front-to-back layouts.
Face to face encounters are bound to continue; most of the time, its what we love about working in our office, the connection with others. Social spaces such as conference rooms, lounge & café areas and collaboration spaces could also be adjusted to allow for less density – remove and store 5 chairs from the 10 person conference table or remove and store bar stools from the café to temporarily limit the group lunches.
We have learned a lot of lessons in the weeks since the pandemic began its spread across the US. One of which is that, people CAN work from home. Yes, the day might start and end at less rigid times and running errands or having lunch with the kids sneaks into typical work hours more than before, but we have all realized that it can be done. So, as we look at returning to the office, consider rotating between in-office and work-from-home to lessen the density of workers on site. They will continue to feel like part of the team but safe because they can maintain the social distancing protocols we have come to love.
We can only imagine all the major changes we will see before the end of the coronavirus pandemic, but we know that the workplace is not going anywhere. We will still need places to connect, build culture and work toward a common goal. Reach out to the team at iSpace to discuss workplace changes you need to bring your team back to a comfortable and safe work environment.