As organizations around the world plan the return to the office, post COVID-19 lockdown period, they need to address a number of workplace-related challenges to meet new government guidelines and policies, which maintain employee safety, adhere to continued social distancing, all while still delivering business continuity.

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.

And as we look into the longer-term impact of COVID-19 on our offices, how do we enable a workplace which is fit for the new expectations of our employees who now demand a more flexible approach to work.

Best way to reopen the office for employees

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 businesses were forced to enabled home-based working practices for most of their employees. With this rapid change to working from home, we have experienced new ways of working and have accelerated the adoption of collaboration technologies, and the employee demand for a flexible approach to work.

As with any change, there have been benefits, but also challenges to overcome. Positives cited include employees saving time and money on commuting, and having a more flexible schedule, and some negatives include the feeling of isolation from the business and feeling less motivated. Interestingly in the Qualtrics study, productivity was divisive, as employees cited it as being improved (22 percent) whilst others struggled (18 percent) in their home environment.

So as we look to get back into the office we need to consider all these factors in how they will help us redefine what our office will need to do in order to support our employees transitioning back and for the long-term.

Webinar

Webinar: Returning to the Office after COVID-19

Prepare for a safe return to the office for all your employees with this webinar discussing technology integration, managing space capacity, flexible working, workspace sanitization, and contact tracing.

Watch now

Why get your employees back into the workplace?

Rethinking our office purpose to support the benefits and the challenges seen through the at-home office into our physical space. The core is connecting employees to workspaces for flexibility and productivity.

With this in mind, there are key principles for why we need to get our employees back into our office spaces:

Fixed Office Desk Workspace

Collaboration

Workers who are physically able to see and talk to each other find it easier to collectively develop new ideas.

Flexible Desk Space

Flexiblity

Employees want to avoid the many potential distractions they have at home, focus on their work and get more done in their day.

Informal meeting space

Socialization

Employees can easily feel isolated when working remotely. Bringing them back keeps them engaged and connected with their team.

Breakout space

Wellbeing

You can safeguard employees’ mental and emotional health by giving them the support that is only available when physically working together.

Breakout space

Coordination

It’s much more straightforward for teams to work together in the office, stay functional, and aligned with the work of others.

Then how do we not only manage the usage of these spaces, make it quick and easy to reserve the spaces for employees and also use technology to monitor how spaces are being utilized to ensure we have provisioned the right mix of space to ensure our employees can be most productive.

Transitioning back to the office

What do employees want during the transition phase?
Flexibility and choice of when to work from the office and when to work from home. Clear guidance on when to come into the office and where it’s safe to work. Assurance that the workspace is correctly sanitized and is safe to use. Reduced risk of infection with a workspace correctly designed to meet social distancing requirements. Staying informed of potential contact with infected co-workers.

Reducing workspace density for social distancing

We provide quick and easy adjustment of space availability, meaning you can de-commission desks to create enough space that social distancing is maintained. It is essential to keep employees 2m or 6ft apart from each other in the workplace as this greatly reduces the chances of the spread of Covid-19.

Limit the capacity of your office

With the reduction of available desks, employees need visibility on when they can come to the office, and when they should work from home.
This ensures the maximum number of people who can safely work in the building at any one time is maintained whilst facilitating employee collaboration.

Workstation usage and cleanliness

It is vital that employees feel safe and secure on their return to the office this is why optimal hygiene measures and practices are in place for their return to continually reduce the risks of the spread of infections and viruses.

Contact tracing options for offices

React quickly to the potential spread of infection by tracking which employees have worked near an infected person and where they’ve worked.
We deliver full monitoring and tracing data of every desk used to identify workers who have been in proximity to the affected parties to help respond to any potential infection.

Guide: Returning to the Office

Navigating our way back to the office post-COVID-19 will see businesses having to rethink, reshape and revaluate their workspaces.

This guide discusses these return to work essentials:

  • Controlling space, capacity, and density of the workplace
  • Enabling effective workspace sanitization
  • Tracing contacts of any employees showing symptoms.
  • Download now

    Rethinking workplace purpose for the future of work

    As we look forward, we will adapt our workspace function to the new demands made by tackling the virus but also the changed mindset of our employees in where and how they want to work.

    In a recent Worktech poll, 75% of people felt that the employees would view the office as a place to meet and collaborate in the post-COVID world.

    It is expected that many employees will want to take full advantage of flexible working and reduced commuting needs, blending the best of their work-from-home experience with the need to come to the office; as offices increasingly becoming places primarily for meeting and collaborating, and employees come for a specific purpose or workday activity.

    So how do you provide a workspace that adapts to this increase in flexible working practices?

    • Give employees a choice over the safe space where they want to work when they come into the office.
    • Provide the ability for employees to easily find the space in the office which best suits their workday activity.
    • Give clarity to employees to see where colleagues are working, at home or in the office.

    Employees are key to your business and we must consider these factors:

    Technology enables productivity and flexibility

    The data we have collected in the transitional phase of the opening of the office can be used to inform our long-term needs of our office space, ensuring the space and tools you provide for employees meet their needs and demands. Tracking where your employee’s work will also help you understand where they can be most productive. In the new world, employees will optimize their own work schedules to their workday and where they have the tools to do their jobs to the best of their ability – which could be at home or in the office.

    So what tools help us deliver this?
    – Desk Management Software
    – Data Analytics
    – Mobile Space Booking

    89% say the impact of the pandemic on the workplace will be significant and transformational.

    Worktech Webinar Poll, 04-Jun-2020, of 180 people.

    Transform the way you work

    Condeco is one platform to manage the workspace and give people freedom and choice over their workspace, so they adopt flexible working and the organization benefits from a safe and efficient use of space.

    We can help improve productivity and satisfaction

    Give people more choice where and when they like to work, give them the ability to reserve a workspace that meets their actual needs; whether it’s for concentration, collaboration or contemplation; which improve productivity and workplace satisfaction.

    Learn more

    We can give employees choice and control

    Give your employees more choice in the workplace by enabling them to reserve a workspace that meets their needs—on their mobile, on the web, on kiosks or digital desk screens.

    Learn more

    We can help introduce flexible working through desk management.

    We give you the tools and data to implement and manage desk sharing and activity-based working schemes; helping you create a better workplace experience for an agile workforce.

    Learn more

    Additional Reading

    Remote working whitepaper

    With remote working on the rise, this makes it critical that workers feel trusted to do their jobs the way they want to.

    Read Whitepaper

    A simple guide to change management

    The unprecedented speed of change within our workplaces needs careful management to ensure you’re taking best advantage for your business. This eBook explains the why and how.

    Download eBook

    Futuristic technologies transforming your workplace Video

    Looking at the top future technologies that will transform and influence your workplace.

    Watch now

    Ready to learn more?

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