Since the 2019 coronavirus outbreak, working from home is a new situation for most workers. Although in some cases face-to-face work has continued, most business owners have chosen to allow their employees to WFH to ensure their safety and to comply with quarantine regulations set by the government. Virtual workplaces thus took on a whole new meaning. As vaccines continue to spread to all parts of the world and countries slowly open up economically, companies are now faced with the task of making their offices safe for returning employees.
Meanwhile, businesses can’t avoid team collaboration, especially when the creation of their products heavily relies on groups working on projects. Along with this, it can’t be denied that collaborating online can have its challenges and some may simply prefer to interact in person. As such, collaborative office spaces and employee interaction remain vital for such businesses and can’t be avoided or eliminated.
In addition, a collaborative workspace provides numerous benefits to a company. These include, but are not limited to:
- Productivity and motivation booster
- Better workplace culture
- Quicker problem solving
Thus, if you’re seeking a way to create a collaborative office space better suited for the new normal, here’s how you can achieve this:
Don’t Forget To Maintain Precautionary Measures
While it’s now possible to have employees return to the office in some businesses, it’s still important to remain cautious as your staff can still contract the virus if you’re not careful. Additionally, if your staff gets sick, this will result in delays and a decrease in productivity. Overall, you’ll want to avoid an outbreak in your office because this will negatively impact your revenues. For example, you can see how rental office spaces, like offices in Oxford, are adjusting their spaces for the new normal.
As a business, you’ll want to ensure that everyone continues to follow social distancing guidelines and other preventative measures. This includes wearing face masks, wearing PPE (if necessary), washing their hands regularly, and constantly sanitizing surfaces.
Consider Using Glass Or Plastic Barriers
Assuming you’ve already gone out to perhaps do your groceries or purchase other necessities, you may have noticed that businesses are now using these transparent plastic barriers. These barriers are often made out of glass or plastic and can be described as moderately large enough to avoid letting any droplets go to the other side. Therefore, when people interact, these function as a shield to ensure that particles that may or may not contain the virus do not reach the person you’re interacting with.
These barriers can also be integrated into office spaces. If an interaction is inevitable in your workplace, using these barriers may help your staff communicate with each other without risking spreading the virus.
Open Windows Over Air conditioning
Next is to consider opening your windows instead of using air-conditioning. In doing so, you’ll be allowing some sunlight and fresh air in, which are highly beneficial to your staff’s health.
Consequently, you and your staff can avoid vitamin D deficiency as you’ll be getting some sun exposure. Note that it has been found that vitamin D deficiency can increase your vulnerability to contracting a disease, and this includes COVID-19. Thus, by allowing your staff to get some sun, you’ll help make them less vulnerable to getting the virus.
Repurpose Or Redesign Your Spaces
If your office spaces are cramped, you might want to consider repurposing or redesigning them. By doing this, you’ll help everyone practice social distancing protocols to decrease the possibility of spreading the virus. For instance, you can decrease the number of people that a certain space can accommodate. This way, you’ll allow freer movements but still help your office conform to health protocols.
COVID-19 has made a permanent impact on the way we live and how businesses function. Fortunately, nations are slowly recovering from the pandemic. Thus, businesses are now transitioning back to the office after WFH to adhere to quarantine restrictions. It can’t be denied that collaboration and interaction remain essential in the workplace before and after the pandemic. Businesses are now tasked with making returning to the office safe for the staff to avoid risking anyone getting COVID-19.
If you’re a business now seeking to return to the office but is still thinking of how to make it a safe space for your staff, consider the guidelines presented in this article while doing your own research. Hopefully, the tips presented here have helped you in your process of transitioning back to working in the office but still practicing safety protocols.
Interesting Related Article: “How to Be Productive as You Work From Home“