Returning to a Healthy Workplace

After a major disruption that affects work and life, getting back to the office requires an intentional strategy to assure employees feel they are safe and can remain healthy in their environment.

Successful transitions take a holistic approach, addressing health and well-being from a physical, mental, social, and emotional perspective. Here are some tips to ease your employees back to the workplace Post-COVID-19 and give them confidence in their work environment.

 

Develop people-focused policies and procedures

Establish flexible work strategies such as

  • Remote work options
  • Alternate shifts of A/B team schedules
  • Phase employees’ return to work in stages

Allocate spaces and tools to discourage shared usage

  • Assign seats and storage for individuals
  • Dedicate meeting spaces and neighborhoods for teams
  • Provide personal phones, electronics, and equipment

Upgrade technology for seamless, reliable remote working and encourage its use to minimize meetings and travel

Implement a robust change management strategy with extensive communication to prepare, support and help individuals and teams make adjustments

 

Create spaces that allow people to be “alone together”

Consider spacious layouts or stagger users to maintain 6-foot distances

Create enclosures or delineate space

Incorporate soft architectural solutions

  • Panel-based furniture systems (Reff Profiles, Dividends Horizons)
  • Wall systems (Rockwell Unscripted Creative Wall)
  • Drapery & Dividers (KnollTextiles, Spinneybeck, FilzFelt)
  • Post-based power systems (Interpole)

Specify furniture solutions

  • Screens, panels, and dividers
  • Storage units
  • Movable markerboards
  • Plants

Reduce the number of people in meeting spaces

 

Assure employee safety and well-being

Maintain a healthy physical environment

  • Provide well-lit spaces with daylight and nature views
  • Assure that ventilation keeps clean air flowing in and helps direct air down
  • Specify fabric and finishes with antimicrobial properties and/or bleach-cleanable surfaces

Add sensors and no-touch technology for hands-free operation

  • Doors, lighting, elevators, security systems
  • Audio/visual equipment
  • Height-adjustable tables, task lights

Support employee health and wellness

  • Conduct temperature checks
  • Sponsor programs for physical and mental well-being
  • Encourage employees to stay home when not feeling well

Promote hygienic measures

  • Implement daily cleaning and sterilization protocols
  • Post visible reminders to wash hands
  • Supply hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • Provide personal mugs and water bottles and dishwashers with Sani-wash cycles

 

This article was originally posted on Knoll.com