This time last year, it was all about leaving the office for your own safety. Now, we are looking towards a time where everyone is trying to figure out exactly how to RETURN safely so we can get back to our regularly scheduled workplace programming. While getting back to in-office work may seem pretty straightforward (you just decide to go back to the office and show up, right?), the pandemic has forever changed the way we perceive in-person interactions. And since only 13% of executives are prepared to let go of the office for good, it seems that this reentry is inevitable and fast approaching.
In order to be truly ready for our post-COVID return to the workplace, there are some systems that we can put in place to ensure everyone stays happy, healthy, and taken care of in this new environment. Let’s take a look at a few tips that we think that your team (and the CDC) will enjoy.
In-Office Food Offerings
Let’s be honest: there’s nothing COVID-safe about your typical lunch rush. People leave their offices in groves, stand in long lines for food, and bring whatever germs they encounter along the way back into their building. And since 66% of employees are worried about their safety when returning to the workplace, this is the perfect time to set-up an in-office meal solution to ease your team’s health concerns.
Working with a company that can set-up a food plan that includes individually packaged meals, contactless delivery, and flexible headcount options makes implementing this program a breeze. Services like Cater2.me can provide daily meals or snack boxes to your employees that can be customized to their individual preferences and dietary needs. They are even able to accommodate flexible headcounts and can curate meal options for your crew that will keep everyone (regardless of location or food preference) happy. The best part? They won’t break the bank!
Updated Office Set-Ups
When was the last time your workspace got an update? The typical office set-up of years past doesn’t really fit into the post-pandemic picture, and for good reason; many workspaces are crowded with shared desks and communal work stations that are breeding grounds for bacteria. To combat this, place a focus on setting up your office to allow for proper desk distancing while providing personal tech offerings to reduce the daily spread of germs tenfold.
Another way to update your office is by making all of the finishes, technology, and materials “future proof”. Ensuring that surfaces are easy to clean and furniture is flexible for social distancing is only one part of this puzzle; implementing technology to reduce traffic in high touch areas can also be hugely beneficial in preventing disease in the office. This can include installing motion-censored lighting, automatic doors, and multiple refrigerators (if you have a larger team) throughout your space. Poppin is a great one stop shop for all of your workspace needs and their “Back to Work” collection provides tons of COVID-friendly solutions for those looking for an office-return update.
Hybrid Schedule Options
Now that many of us know that remote work can help keep employees healthier and more productive, it only seems natural for companies to move towards a hybrid workplace structure, at least until vaccinations are more widespread. And since 82% of US office workers said they’d like to continue work from home at least weekly once the pandemic ends, it could be a great opportunity to test out this method in the name of safety.
A hybrid work environment reduces the amount of employees in the office on any given day, which gives your team more room to move without worrying about spreading germs to their coworkers. With less people coming in and out, you can help reduce the spread of illness and keep sick employees where they belong: at home. Companies like Envoy are perfect for getting your hybrid workplace up and running (and automated) as their systems only allow healthy employees to reserve a desk for their days in the office. Their Envoy protect feature also allows you to set an office capacity that will prevent employees and visitors from entering when that limit is reached.
“Am I ready to return to the office?”
We know; this question feels very loaded after our quick sprint OUT of the office around this time last year. But with proper planning, communication and special solutions that are curated to your return-to-office goals, you can ensure that your team feels calm, cool, and collected about coming back to the workplace.
Not headed back to the office yet? Check out our other blogs covering welcoming new hires into remote environments and remote holiday celebrations.