While employers focus on maintaining a remote-based workforce post-pandemic, it’s worth noting that offices are not going dark and empty anytime soon. Employees have been returning to them, as restrictions ease, and will continue to do so when COVID-19 fi
While employers focus on maintaining a remote-based workforce post-pandemic, it’s worth noting that offices are not going dark and empty anytime soon. Employees have been returning to them, as restrictions ease, and will continue to do so when COVID-19 finally wanes.
According to Steelcase, 72% of global companies indicate they’re planning for a continuation of remote-based work, but, at least for the foreseeable future, the office will continue to be the center of this new hub-and-spoke hybrid office/remote work strategy.
The assistance of an office furniture company will help them navigate the office realities that emerged during COVID-19, and which will continue afterwards. Let’s revisit how COVID-19 realities have changed the office environment:
- Infection prevention: Density/distancing, geometry, and division measures have been set in workplaces as restrictions eased and people returned to previously closed workplaces. The first measure refers to keeping people at least two metres apart, the second to the placement of furniture to minimize close contact, and the third to physical barriers, like plexiglass panels, that again serve the purpose of managing close contact.
- Enhanced cleaning protocols: Office equipment and surfaces are now subject to a rigorous and frequent cleaning process. Employers are advised to buy items from an office furniture company that can handle both the frequency of cleanings, and the harshness of chemicals.
- Work goes virtual: Audiovisual technology reduces the need for face-to-face meetings and interactions. Resources include video conferencing, online schedulers and planners, wireless presentation tools, workplace collaboration and remote conferencing.
- No-touch automation: Through solutions such as voice activation, auto switching, occupancy sensor activation, and meeting presets, employees can greatly reduce the number of touchpoints in a shared space.
- Rapid deployment: Now more than ever, teams need to be able to move technology and interact with it on the fly. Rapid deployment has become an essential requirement to support agile work and mobile flexibility.
- Wellness measures for office and remote workers: Employers have been equipping employees with ergonomically designed office furniture since well before the pandemic, a trend that proved beneficial for wellness issues during the pandemic, including isolation, fatigue, and depression. Along with wellness programs like exercise and counselling, ergonomic furniture helps with the goals of collaboration, connectivity, and productivity.
An Office Furniture Company Can Help Workplaces Design for Today and Tomorrow
In addition to designing the post-COVID workplace for safety, employers will also want to incorporate designs for a range of strategies. Steelcase’s series, Global Report: Changing Expectations and the Future of Work, says employers will want to:
- Design for productivity: This includes creating spaces and processes to support a variety of work needs, including:
- In-person collaboration: By providing high-performing spaces with access to tools and technology needed to collaborate effectively.
- Virtual collaboration: Connecting workers virtually, both in the office and remotely, is the new norm, however employers will want to provide employees with personal space to avoid distractions and disruptions from video meetings, etc.
- Privacy: Employees will expect privacy and employers will want to have spaces for that purpose.
- Movement: Data shows that the ability for employees to move around, engage with team members and resources, improves collaboration and creativity. Of course, this will need to be done within the parameters of COVID-19 measures.
- Employers will also want to design for flexibility, to inspire, and create a better work experience.
Our Office Furniture Company Can Help