COVID Safety in the Workplace 5 Things to Consider as Your Organization Returns to the Office

Return to Office: COVID Safety in the Workplace

Ready to return to the office after quarantine? As we all try to form a new “normal” during a pandemic, your organization may face new challenges. For example, there may be issues communicating safety guidelines. Or a problem companies face may be effectively using your work space to ensure team members can practice social distancing. So, here are five ways space utilization and space analytics can make the transition back to the office easier for you and your team.

1. Does your organization have a good grasp on how your space was being used pre-COVID?

“Work from home” policies, while common before COVID-19, have become even more ubiquitous these days.  This means that understanding how often meeting rooms are used, how many people these common areas support, and using that information to allow for a flexible office return are more important than ever before.  Were meeting rooms hard to come by in 2019? Does every employee have an assigned seat? If so, your organization may struggle to allow too many employees back into the office if interpersonal meetings are still in high demand.  Healthy changes can only be made once you’ve got a firm grasp on your space usage.

2. A culture of choice and worker autonomy

Many organizations already empowered workers to use a variety of spaces throughout the workday. But many people are still accustomed accustomed to a more traditional work environment. Managing a change to a more agile work strategy is no easy task—it requires tools for employees to make decisions and a positive environment that accommodates different comfort levels.  Mobile desk booking, flexible in-office days, and management leading by example are all key in the post-COVID-19 workplace.

3. Employee Awareness of Health + Safety

Your organization may be taking major steps to ensure your spaces are ready for employees to return. But is that information visible? The first step to settling uneasiness for most teams is to let your workforce know that you’re prioritizing the following protocols:

  • Cleanliness
  • Social distancing
  • Hygiene protocols

Further, you can do the following to help your teams understand that you value their health and safety as much as they do:

  • Use digital signage displaying space usage protocols.
  • Make capacity constraints visible.
  • Ensure employees can easily find and access this information. To be specific, this could be either on their smartphone or a centrally located display.

4. Taking measures to help monitor capacity and usage

While you can’t go back in time and measure your space pre-COVID-19, you can take action to measure usage going forward. Leading organizations worldwide are implementing sensor systems to help them track capacity and social distancing. Plus, workplace sensors help them build a detailed understanding on how their space is performing.  These data points are essential for evaluating your team’s return to the office. Also, they provide an invaluable benchmark moving into 2021 and beyond.

5. Supporting today’s needs while also considering the future beyond COVID-19

2020’s viral pandemic is sure to have lasting effects on corporate real estate, college campuses, retail, and hospitality environments for months to come. But what about beyond that? To start, a successful real estate strategy ensures not only that bouncing back post COVID goes smoothly. But it also better prepares your organization for whatever comes next.  That’s why it is vital to adopt a flexible technology platform that allows your employees to ease back into the office safely. Also, it will provide meaningful benchmark for space usage. As a result, this helps your company progress into the future. We may not have another viral pandemic quite like this. But you can have a system in place that helps you understand exactly how your space performs and supports a flexible working culture.

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