In years to come, we will look back on 2020 as the year COVID-19 transformed the world in ways that will have lasting effects on all of us. But in the here and now, we are all gradually trying to return towards ‘normal’ – in whatever shape or form that may be.

But how do we transition to this ‘new normal’; back to the office with fewer desks for the same workforce, who also now demand a more flexible approach to work, all while ensuring employee health and wellbeing?

While we look to address a number of workplace-related challenges to meet new government guidelines and policies, we need to stay focused on maintaining employee safety, adhering to continued social distancing, while still delivering business continuity.

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How to plan out a return to the office for your workforce

Supporting these physical distancing measures will require reducing commute times and maintaining and improving flexible working methods, where offices will become a place to meet and collaborate.

But there is more to it than just this; planning for a return to the office requires some careful consideration and planning, and this guide outlines it for you as we look to enable employee flexibility, remote working considerations, and the technology that aids in this shift.

Before employees even arrive at the office, a clear and transparent framework of where they will be working and who with will be needed for health, trust, and practical reasons. Achieving this means managing your real estate and workforce through improved technology integration.

This guide discusses five return to work essentials:

  1. Deploying an employee and workspace scheduling system
  2. Controlling space, capacity, and density of the workplace
  3. Enabling effective workspace sanitization
  4. Delivering choice and flexibility to employees
  5. Tracing contacts of any employees showing symptoms.

Looking ahead to the new normal

Once the threat of COVID-19 subsides, the business world that emerges will be very different from that which preceded it. React to the challenges ahead, keep an open mind to new solutions and opportunities, and most importantly remain safe.

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