Returning to the Workplace: Planning Now for Changes Ahead
The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by businesses across the world and across the country. We now live in an age where social distancing has become the norm, and personal space has become critical to our health, safety, and well-being. But how does that look within the confines of our workspaces?
And although your office is closed right now and your employees are working from home, will your facility be ready when it’s time for them to transition back into the workplace? This is perhaps the most important question for business owners to ask and answer while their offices are still closed.
Planning for the return of your employees
What does the return of your employees into the workplace look like? Will you be phasing them back in by department or role, or will everyone be coming back at the same time? In most cases, the employees that are deemed “essential” will likely be in the first phase of the return, while less essential employees can be brought back at a later date. The strategy for how you will be transitioning people back in will drive your timeline and help you develop a budget for the work that needs to get done before their return.
So, our advice is to start planning now, because space and how it will be used and by how many people are going to be a huge consideration when you reopen your doors and bring your employees back together.
Reconfiguring the workspace
Many work environments today are characterized by open office concepts, and communal spaces that encourage collaboration, and shared workstations, and cubicles placed in close proximity to others. However, such spaces might not be viable in the post-COVID-19 world. Employees are going to expect more distance between themselves and others in order to feel confident and comfortable about their working conditions.
Much can and should be done during the downtime. We have the ability to do virtual surveys, virtual site walks, and virtual space analyses to see what can be done to alter your current configuration based on your new needs. For example, you might need to turn a 6-by-6 foot cubical into and 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 foot cubical to give your employees the space they are going to require when they come back to work. It might even be practical to have empty cubicles in between employees in order to provide safe distancing.
Whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish, make sure that you are using your space wisely and safely to accommodate the changes that will be necessary for your business moving forward.
Cleaning the facility
People are also perhaps more germ conscious than ever before, so you should keep your employees informed about what you are doing to have the facility cleaned and sterilized in preparation for their return. Likewise, they will want to know how often it is being recleaned and other measures that are being taken to maintain the cleanliness of the facility.
Open and honest communication goes a long way. So, keeping your employees informed about the steps that you are taking in this regard will give them some much-needed peace of mind.
Continued work from home options
The mandatory work from home situation has also given employees an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work efficiently and effectively remotely. At the same time, it has reduced some overhead costs for the employer. This has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities worth considering.
So, as part of your planning for the return of your employees into the workplace, you might want to think about whether there are some employees that should continue working from home on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. This will give you more space to work within your facility, as it reduces the population of workers that might otherwise have to be together under one roof. As such, it alleviates some concerns that might arise about too many people having to work in close quarters with one another.
As the health crisis begins to subside, we anticipate that there will be a pent-up demand for workplace moving services. At the same time, we expect labor to be a challenge, since a lot of companies (ours included) have had to scale back during this time, due to a decrease in demand for commercial moving services. But, we know that this is only temporary.
That’s why being proactive is so important. The best way for us to assist you is by knowing now about the kinds of commercial moving projects that you might have in your pipeline, so that we can begin planning with you and making sure that we have the labor to support you when the time comes.
By planning with you now, we can approach your projects from a consultative standpoint, and think proactively about how they can best be spaced out over a time period that makes sense for your business.
The reality of the situation is that there are going to be challenges as we start to come out of this crisis, and as people begin to return to their place of business or back into the workforce altogether. And so how we stay prepared and how we pre-plan with you from the beginning is going to be very important for your move projects.
Being financially sound
Regardless of what your project needs look like, you always want to make sure that you are working with a company that is financially sound, and that will still be here in the next 60, 90, 120 days, and far beyond.
Daryl Flood is such a company. We have established ourselves as a debt free company that is financially stable and able to withstand this downturn.
And although you might not be ready for the physical aspects of whatever your workplace projects entail, it is never too early to start planning.
Please contact us anytime so that we can get the conversation started!