Like many places around the nation, the workplace office looks empty. With many employees furloughed or working from home, what will the office of the future look like post-COVID-19? The risk of opening too soon gives rise to worries of another spike in new coronavirus cases. Before people get back to work, companies will need to reinvent the workplace. Employers need to make prudent decisions and rely on credible sources for information to base their re-opening on.
Sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whose recent guidelines on re-opening the economy are being ignored by the White House. Employees are rightfully and increasingly concerned about their health and will need reassurance that companies and small business owners will take proper safety measures as the pandemic continues.
Companies will need to adapt and re-organize how things operate within their locations for a successful return to the office. Shifting former habits to make new requirements in order to ensure the virus is not spread at the workplace. So essentially, the workplace will need to be re-imagined from the ground up.
A range of solutions can and should be put in place to protect employees to limit one on one contact. Offices with open floor concepts are likely to be changed the most. Orders and requests for hardware panels and low-level partitions for shared or desks close to one another are soaring. With a second wave of the virus not out of the question, business owners need to start planning now. However, many businesses realized that having employees work remotely can be done successfully and with increased productivity.
This will all take time. But one thing is certain – the office you left behind, isn’t the one you’ll return to.