A lot of us are in the same boat with our COVID-19 journey: at first, we were happy to work from home. Skipping our commute and spending all day in pajamas? Yes, please! As time has worn on, though, the fatigue has turned “working from home” into “living at work,” and it’s not so much fun anymore.
As eager as you may be to get back to the office, be prepared: it won’t look the same as it did when you left. Let’s look at what you can expect when you go back to work post-COVID-19.
How Offices Will Look and Function Differently After COVID-19
To be safe amid COVID-19, offices everywhere are making changes to their practices, facilities, and policies. As you lead your team toward getting back into the office, there are certain changes you’ll need to make.
Ideally, you want to set up your office so your employees can stay six feet away from each other at all times. To do this, you’ll need to make sure all your employees’ workstations are six feet apart. Chances are that this will mean rearranging your furniture and possibly swapping out your existing furniture for modified versions.
Restricted Gathering Spaces
No matter what your business is, your employees won’t be spending every minute of the day at their workstations. They’ll be taking breaks and enjoying their lunches in areas like your break room or eat-in kitchen. Unfortunately, those areas are hotspots where people tend to gather and aren’t likely to have enough space for social distancing.
You’ll need to make changes to the way your break areas operate. For instance, perhaps turn a few conference rooms into additional break rooms so employees can spread out.
If you have a reception area, that’s likely to change as well. Revise your policies to limit the space to one or two people at a time, depending on how much space you have.
Fewer Tactile Practices
There are a surprising number of items colleagues share throughout the day. To keep COVID-19 at bay, you want to minimize the number of times multiple people touch the same item.
For example, you may want to swap your standard water cooler for a touchless one. You could also have one designated person who presses buttons on the copier or ask everyone to use a tissue to touch the buttons
Increased Cleaning Practices
On top of having your employees touch items less often, you’ll need to take your in-office cleaning to the next level. Some of this could involve adding simple policies like asking employees to wipe down any door handles they touch. You should also bring in sanitation professionals on a frequent basis to disinfect more thoroughly.
It’s time to take a close look at how often you need to gather your team for meetings or visit your external contacts. You could have internal meetings in more open areas where participants can stay six feet apart. You can also opt for virtual meetings when you would normally be meeting with clients and vendors.
How HiTouch Business Services Can Help You Safely Go Back to Work Post-COVID-19
If all those changes seem a bit overwhelming, take a deep breath. You’re not in this alone. Our team at HiTouch Business Services is ready to help with our contract furniture program.
Reorganize Your Floor Plan
Our specialists have long been experts in designing layouts for offices and other types of commercial facilities, and now, we’ve become experts in COVID-19-friendly layouts too. We can evaluate and map out your office in a way to keep everyone as safe and distanced as possible.
On top of social distancing, we can also make sure your layout is set up so no two employees are facing each other. This will lower their risk because one person’s droplets won’t be moving directly toward another person’s face.
Provide Physical Barriers
Another critical way to minimize COVID-19 is to put physical barriers in place that block droplets so they don’t reach other people or float around in the air. You may be amazed by how comprehensively we can do this by simply providing the right styles of furniture and accessories.
Developing a Comprehensive Plan for Going Back to Work Post-COVID-19
We’re all eager for life to get “back to normal,” but we can’t rush to normalcy without putting precautions in place. Making the changes above and working with our knowledgeable team at HiTouch Business Services’ contract furniture division will help you create a safe and productive environment that makes your team excited to come back.