With lockdown rules slowly easing with the optional go ahead to return to the workplace, it seems some people are eager to get back into the office environment. For the few that have been self-isolating alone, single parents or working in unsuitable make-shift home offices over the past few months all may have taken a serious toll on their mental health and overall wellbeing.
The simple day to day social impact of an office environment and “small talk” with colleagues has been proven to boost employees’ positive emotions and sense of wellbeing as well as making them more willing to go that extra mile to help support colleagues and their organisation (according to a study done by ( Rutgers and the University of Exeter Business School). The benefits of face to face social interaction just can not be replicated by online calls. This is why it is understandable that company owners have made the decision to allow staff to optionally return to the workplace should it be beneficial for their wellbeing.
However, offices that are reopening will have to follow strict government guidelines in order to comply with the new regulations to remain open and reduce the potential risk of getting fined.
The guidelines are in place to reduce the workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. These guidelines include:
1. Carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment in consultation with workers or trade unions.
2. Increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning (providing hand sanitizer and sprays that are easily accessible to staff and customers)
3. Required to hand sanitize when entering and exiting the premises.
4. Comply with the social distancing guidelines by keeping people 2m apart from each other. If this is not possible then barriers in shared spaces should be implemented or minimise the amount of staff in the office at one time (maybe having an alternating rota)
5. A poster must be displayed visibly to all staff and customers that your workplace complies with the guidance principles.
These are just a few of the required guidelines, but there are other measures that can be put in place to ensure the safest work environment for your staff and customers specific to your office space and design. It is clear that there is still a lot of uncertainty around the longevity of coronavirus and a lot of us are preparing for the “new normal” which will include precursory safety measures against a second wave, as well as indefinitely taking these measures with us into the future. It is important that the wellbeing and health safety of your staff is of top priority going forward; so, in order to minimise any anxiety around the safety of the work environment and to prepare for the future, why not start with the office design?
Office design is a great way to integrate new guidelines in a way that is tailored to your company's culture whilst ensuring the surroundings are completely safe. A few examples of design elements that can be put in place can include installing bespoke wall sanitiser stations, filtered air purifying units, foldable desk barriers, movable plant dividers.
Here at Remarcable we work closely with our clients to create bespoke, innovative and tech savvy spaces with the wellbeing of staff at the forefront of our designs. There is no better time than now to get ahead of your competitors and show your staff that you are willing to put their wellbeing and health first by making design changes within the office for everyone's overall happiness. We all know that happy people work better!
Get in touch with one of our experts today for a FREE consultation on how we can help you make the changes you need in the most remarkable way.
Get in touch with one of our experts today for a free consultation.