Following 18 months spent working from home, returning to work in the office is unsurprisingly being met with a heightened sense of health, safety, and the logistics of working around people again. Whilst some employers and companies are adopting adaptable, hybrid working style in the long term, others are inviting employees back to benefit from their office spaces.
With this shift back into the office now moving more quickly, thanks to increased numbers of vaccines, in this blog we’ll be looking at how to manage that safe return to the office.
Introduce Covid Testing to the Office
Ordering some tests for your office space is a great way to enable colleagues to come together and work as a team whilst still ensuring optimum safety in your office. It shows that you are taking health and safety seriously as employees return to the office, and displays a high level of responsibility and care for the wellbeing of your team.
As well as introducing regular testing to the office, other Covid precautions you can take include implementing more spatial awareness and distanced desks, erecting hand sanitisation stations at the entrance to your office space, and encouraging employees to follow one way systems where possible.
Listen to your Employees
When planning your covid safety measures, talk to colleagues and employees and find out how they feel, so that you can make steps to address their concerns before they move back into the office. Remember that the best form of planning is supported by insight, and when you understand how your employees feel you can do what needs to be done to balance their concerns, alongside the needs of the company, whilst re-enforcing how you value them in the organisation.
Treat it as a long-term transition and be flexible
The fact is that the pandemic has changed working structures for the long term, meaning that encouraging a return to the office needs to be met with increased focus on employee health and wellbeing, including flexible or hybrid working patterns. This should all factor into a long-term, positive transition, which is to build better health and safety measures into the workplace for good.
There are a myriad of measures that you can introduce, including the way you use the space, including entrances and exits; staggered arrival and departure times; shift rotations; safe distance markings; key fobs instead of keypads; and even encouraging more fresh air and outside breaks for workers. With so much to see and do around Islington, our office residents at the Business Design Centre regularly benefit from outside spaces, and can even enjoy different working environments in local parks and outdoor spaces during the summer months.
Revamp the Office
Finally, as always, focus on your office space and the environment that you are bringing employees back into. An office revamp will make the implementation of new measures easier to manage, and will also allow you to focus on creating a nicer, more welcoming space for employees to work in.
Whether you decide to move into a new space altogether or just focus on renovating your current office space back into full perspective, creating a productive environment means homing in on the space you offer, the way you use it, and the aesthetics that bring it to life.
Some of our favourite ideas include:
- Branded walls and portraits which display your achievements, or your brand history
- Office Plants, which have been proven to increase health and wellbeing, particularly through tumultuous times
- Statement walls, which are a fantastic way to encourage input and creativity from your team, through design.
- Whether you are looking to improve the aesthetics of the room or just to de-clutter, never underestimate the power of the small changes, such as new desks.
With more employees returning to work in the office every day, it’s never been a better time to think about your surroundings. The BDC regards the health and safety of our clients, staff and partners of paramount importance. See our full Covid-19 advice here or get in touch with our team today to see how our office space in London is fully prepared for working safely and confidently post-lockdown.