Empowering Potential: Preparing your workspace for employees to return
The COVID-19 pandemic may not be over, however in the foreseeable future people will be returning to work, and this is yet another change employers need to prepare for.
As experts in empowering potential through workspace design, A1 Office believes now is an ideal time to prepare your office for returning employees. Our previous article, Transforming Workspaces, The Everlasting Impact explains why an intelligent workspace is critical to your business. We believe in a holistic approach to addressing the physical workplace that takes into consideration employee mental and emotional health and wellbeing.
While the below tips can help most businesses, optimising your employee and workspace potential requires specific review into the individual needs of your business. A workplace audit before staff return to work would be the most efficient way to ensure your office is an intuitive space that supports employee potential, health and wellbeing. Some of our tips for businesses with staff returning are:
- Stagger the return of workers
To keep social distancing practices in place (and if it’s suitable for you) it may be wise to stagger the return of workers. Having only those needed in the office come back first would be an ideal start, or some are considering staggering the start and finish times of staff.
- Keep using technology
Online meeting technologies such as Zoom and Skype have been a game changer for some, although A1 Office has been encouraging the use of such technology in workspaces for quite some time now. Ensure your break out areas or boardrooms are equipped with the right technology to keep the online interaction going, with clients or staff. Ensure you have a strong internet connection and staff are empowered to work from all areas of the office and remotely.
- Ensure your facilities are empowering
Often when we conduct audits in companies who wish to harness the potential of employees in every way, we find that the staff amenities are incompatible with their needs. A common problem area is in the staff kitchen. Ensure your staff have considered access to the microwave or coffee machine. Contemplate staggering lunch times, so staff are not all flocking to the one area at the same time. We advised these simple practices to a client recently who then reported an immediate increase in staff morale and productivity.
- Manage the distance and health of your staff
Not only has the importance of workspaces been highlighted by this pandemic as a critical space to come and work together, to boost morale and be productive with like-minded people; it’s become clear that using space wisely is now important for all businesses. Ensure there’s distance between desks and be conscious of organising group meetings. Keep some of your meetings online.
- An individual approach and audit
Just how every employee works differently, every business is unique and what works for you may not be suitable for the company next-door. You may find half your staff are more productive working remotely, yet for others the workspace is critical to mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The most efficient way to ensure your space is prepared for returning staff is to have an expert come and audit your space. Only an expert with experienced knowledge in empowering potential can pick up on the subtleties that will create the best environment for your staff. With a quick audit, the A1 Office team can make suggestions that are unique to your business. These suggestions will promote an intelligent and intuitive space for employees, one that is felt by everyone immediately and serves those who inhabit it for a long time to come. These may incorporate the above as well as recommendations that are more specific for you. After all, your staff are your most important asset.
Being ready for life to resume work post COVID-19 is one of the most vital steps you can take as a business right now. Making sure your workspace is both functional and safe for your staff should be of highest priority for anyone looking to go back to business as usual. By making small changes to your work environment, you empower your workers to return at their best working ability. For more information on how you can transform your workspace or to inquire about an audit into your workspace, contact us today.
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Image credit: A1 Office transformed workspace of Austbrokers Countrywide.