Many working professionals know that a return to their workplace is coming – if it hasn’t begun already. However, the old familiar – and highly praised – open and collaborative workspaces could feature some unfamiliar additions – like a sneeze guard.
That’s right, the plexiglass that’s commonly associated with the convenience store or a movie theater box office is just one of the many post-pandemic makeover tools that could be coming into the workplace.
According to the New York Times, other additions could include hand sanitizers built into desks, air filters that push air down and not up, and outdoor gathering spaces that allow for collaboration without viral transmission.
As conversations around enforcing social distancing for teams re-entering the workplace continue, one question that’s sure to cross decision maker’s minds is: how do we get reentry right?
While no one has delivered a perfect solution for this inquiry as of yet, press play on the video below featuring a few questions from CORT’s Business Development Executive, Colleen Perkins, that can help workspace reentry planning get started in the right direction.
Do you need furniture that allows your team to exercise social distance?
As many employees begin their return to the workplace, one area of concern will be on sanitization. While items like masks and hand sanitizers are high on the list of things that employees will need to see in their “new” workplace, furniture also plays a significant role in helping teams feel more comfortable.
In the office, flexible furnishings like mobile room dividers, panel systems, and wellness screens can be used to create safe distance while still encouraging employee collaboration.
For team members that will also be splitting their time at home, providing commercial grade office furniture, sit-to-stand desks, adjustable chairs, and a laptop with a separate keyboard, mouse, and or monitor can do more to help with employee health and productivity through proper ergonomics.
Do you need furniture without a large upfront cash investment?
Many businesses are facing an unexpected loss in revenue that will require long recovery periods. Eliminating the need for expensive and large capital investments in furniture and other workspace modifications serves as an advantage in a reentry plan.
CORT’s “Furniture as a Service™ model is a solution that gets right to the heart of this issue by championing furniture access over the cost, hassle, and burden of ownership by being there when it’s needed and gone when it’s not and flexible to changes as needs change.
Do you need a layout plan that helps you navigate your current economy?
One thing that will not change upon re-entering the workplace is that a successful workspace design is primarily based on the team that will be using it. Knowing how employees work and what they need to comfortably accomplish their goals plays a significant part in enabling teams to resume working again. What will change are the things they need to feel safe and supported in their new reality.
Blending and balancing business and employee needs doesn’t have to be an event of labor. Short term, this can look like rerouting walk flows, scheduled use of community spaces, distancing at 6 ft. and greater, safety screens, space dividers, and much more. Long term, however, it will be essential to build upon these efforts to show a kind of flexibility that can weather internal and external factors without needing to rely on a significant rework of the office space every time a challenge is faced.
As space and protocols evolve, getting the office right will take time to figure out what will work as space and protocols evolve. By taking actions now that embrace change, a strategy is being put in place that creates flexibility and is future-facing while keeping an eye out for the unpredictable.
This article was written with support from Colleen Perkins, CORT Business Development Executive – Serving Louisville, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati. Looking for ways to update your office? Follow Colleen on LinkedIn for more tips on how to use CORT’s Furniture as a Service in your workplace.