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Can Employees Go Back to Offices Again?

So much has changed due to the ongoing pandemic. Individuals had to adjust to the mandated health protocols set by different governments and states. Various businesses worldwide have also been substantially affected by the pandemic. The global economy has declined, and a lot of businesses are fighting to stay afloat.

Another issue that companies are facing today is ensuring that their employees are first and foremost protected from being infected by the virus. That’s why many businesses have implemented work-from-home schemes.

Rise of Remote Working

Remote work has been largely doable for a lot of employees. There are certainly plenty of advantages to this kind of setup. First, it helps curb the spread of the virus by minimizing unnecessary mobilization.

This setting also reduces the operational expenses of companies, as offices are quite costly to run and maintain. Having employees work from home is an opportunity for businesses to manage their finances carefully.

However, some businesses cannot afford to lose their physical operations. These businesses rely on physical stores and offices to keep their operations going. Maintaining their physical workspaces has been especially challenging during the pandemic.

Adapting to the Pandemic

Even with the growing work-from-home setup, offices are still vital in some operations. Certain tasks and functions cannot be simply done in a remote setting. To make these roles work, necessary changes must be made to adapt to the times. Therefore, changes must be in both the protocols and the design implemented in offices.

The work-from-home setup is ideal at this time. However, office work will remain, even in some way, because there are operations that simply cannot be done remotely for different reasons. For instance, it can be because of the confidentiality or sensitivity of work-related information. Companies and businesses can adopt a working model that applies both remote work and skeleton work systems. In that way, office operations can still continue while taking employees’ safety into account.

Skeleton Working Arrangements

The first thing that companies must consider is to manage skeleton working conditions. Offices cannot afford to have all their employees in the office reporting at full force given the unprecedented loss of revenue and the rapid transmission of the coronavirus. Such arrangements will only be detrimental during this time and possibly even in a post-pandemic setup. At the very least, companies must provide feasible options that would allow their employees to go back to their offices, as long as they ensure the safety of their staff.

The past months have seen the rise of virtual meetings. Online meetings are essential in the new normal. It allows remote communication among staff and allows them to zero in on important matters regarding function and business operations.

Redesigning Offices

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Offices also need to be redesigned to accommodate the health protocols set in place because of the pandemic. Crammed offices and workstations are no longer advised and are discouraged. Socially distanced workstations should now be the standard. Adapting to the new normal in accordance with the health protocols can be challenging. Nevertheless, adapting to them is a must.

Some designing firms have already come up with designs on how to accommodate these changes in the office. One such design is the six feet office. It is the design concept for offices wherein the workspaces of employees are six feet apart. Office furniture and fixture will also see dramatic changes in the coming months as most people would not want to sit close to each other.

Adherence to Good Hygiene and Disinfection

Lastly, offices, being enclosed spaces with limited to no air ventilation, can be a hotbed for the virus to thrive and spread. Hygiene is the only way to combat the possibility of the virus spreading. Offices must have their disinfectants and cleaning materials at all times. It is even better if microfiber towels for cleaning, disinfectant sprays, and alcohol are provided to each workstation. This will encourage employees entering the office to practice good hygiene. Teams can also set up an awareness campaign to battle the virus.

This is just one simple way of ensuring the safety of workplaces in the time of a pandemic. Practicing good hygiene and social distancing in the workplace are still the best ways to ensure that the virus remains at bay.

It may take a while before everything comes back to the way they were. We may not even be able to return to the old normal. Nevertheless, what is important is for people, workplaces, and society to learn to adapt to these changes.

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