It’s been almost a year since office spaces were left deserted and replaced with the majority of the UK working from home.
With the benefits of zero commute and home cooked lunches, comes problems with extended time away from like minded peers and a sense of belonging to a company culture.
Thanks to modern technology and platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft teams, industries across the country are still able to develop ideas whilst in lockdown. However, the frustrations of having to schedule a call to discuss a project, alongside the feeling of isolation can become a struggle, with studies showing that in person communication helps foster ideas and a sense of belonging to an organisation.
Will the office ever be the same again? And how will you welcome your staff back into the office space when restrictions allow.
Rethink your workspace
If you haven’t already it’s likely you’ll need to re think the layout of your office space. Communal tea rounds may be off the agenda for quite some time, but it’s important to instill a sense of community for those returning to the office. Now is the perfect opportunity to revamp your workspace, allowing for open plan areas for adequately distanced working.
Whilst also considering private zones ideal for one to one meetings or phone calls away from the bustle of office chatter. Internal office pods are ideal for creating a private space within your open-plan office, quickly and efficiently utilizing the space you have to create designated areas to work in.
Whilst many of your employees may not have been using comfortable office chairs during their time at home, they’ll be keen to get back to a professional ergonomic chair.
Consider a trusted brand such as a Herman Miller office chair, which incorporates cutting edge designs with ergonomic excellence. Ensuring your employees are sitting comfortably allows them to get on with work, without thinking about aches and pains.
Customisation is critical when refitting your office with new chairs. It’s important to consider you and your employees may spend anything between 6-9 hours a day seated, with options such as height adjustable arms, lumbar support and tilt limiter ensuring everyone can customize their perch depending on their preferences and with brands such as Herman Miller available, you can easily choose from a variety of ergonomic chairs, such as the most popular choice, the Herman Miller Aeron Chair.
After working from home for so long your colleagues will be eager to catch up with each other, however depending on ongoing restrictions these will need to be managed carefully.
Ensuring you have large open spaces with room to distance themselves from each other will be imperative. Whilst social distancing has become second nature, especially when visiting supermarkets, doctors surgeries and other essential providers, using visual markers is a great way to communicate social distancing rules.
Depending on how spacious your workplace is, you may need to consider limiting capacity in the office, as well as communal spaces such as the kitchen. Or in larger offices creating a staggered use of the kitchen space during peak times such as the morning coffee run and lunchtime.
Reward schemes are great ways to heighten self-esteem in staff. Rewarding employees for positive behaviour and meaningful contributions is a great way to boost morale. Building stronger relationships and creating a productive culture.
As well as rewarding employees it’s important to encourage good mental health, the past year has at times felt monotonous and for some, it’s been a challenging year. Encouraging staff to take regular breaks from the screen and creating team-building exercises is important – whether that’s virtually or in person.
We hope this year will soon see offices bustling with people, albeit with necessary safety precautions to ensure compulsory working conditions are met. Are you looking forward to returning to the office?