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Returning to the Office After COVID

Moving Office Post COVID-19
Chess Moving - Safely Moving Back to Office Post COVID-19

Please note: This blog was last updated on the 14/07/21.

 This year has been incredibly different from any others, and the events that have been shaping the past few months have also re-shaped several aspects of our lives. The stricter lockdown rules have certainly forced us to adapt quickly to new patterns, lifestyles, and rhythms. However, once those hard moments had passed, we have not entirely abandoned the new changes. Due to ongoing social distancing measures and fear of contagion, an impressive number of professionals have decided to keep working from home for longer. 

However, now, the moment to return to the office is approaching quickly. This is both exciting and frightening for employees and managers alike. While offices are the cradle of new ideas and projects, it has never been so important to redesign these important spaces. Thinking about moving to a more suitable space might just be the one solution to ensure that your staff and co-workers can safely return to the office. Let’s have a look at what these spaces are bound to look like. 

What will The office look like post covid: An Overview

First off, it is crucial to have a clear vision of the place where you want your employees to go back to. Indeed, the talents you have hand-picked over time and the teams you have put together are your business’s most precious aspect. And, in such a delicate, always-changing environment such as the time after a pandemic can damage your professionals in many ways. Of course, if one or more talents become ill, you might not be able to count on them for a long time, and the incident can have consequences across your company. However, an even more damaging aspect can be the fear your employees have to come back to the office. 

Indeed, if they find themselves uncomfortable and in a building that does not encourage wellbeing and health, they might not be able to be as productive and creative. Naturally, the pandemic has had catastrophic effects on almost all industries and businesses. Nonetheless, there has never been a more appropriate moment to invest in a new, healthy, modern, and suitable office space. Because of how delicate the process of picking a space and moving office during this time can be, getting in touch with a professional who can help you throughout each stage is essential. 


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A Creative office layout change

One of the first changes you will need to implement in your company’s space is office design. This has been changing over the years: from cubicles, we have moved onto more inspiring open-space offices. However, today, open-space offices might no longer be suitable environments for your team members. Undoubtedly, they have been praised over the years because they offered unique opportunities for social mixing, meeting, conversations, and teamwork. These offices might have been at the centre of controversies for some time, but they are not likely to make a comeback in the post-pandemic scenario. 

Indeed, the new layouts will need to encourage social distancing and self-isolation. However, employees should not see it as a return to the oppressive, restrictive, and quite outdated office cubicles. The new spaces will be much more open, allowing for a more airy and sharing environment.The use of materials such as glass and mirrors, as well as minimalistic designs and the presence of windows, will make individualised office spaces much more livable. 

Among the benefits of this choice is the fact that it can help with concentration and productivity through the elimination of clutter and interference. When upgrading your office’s design, it is paramount to speak to an expert and streamline the process.

Communal areas to encourage teamwork

So far, on average, just under three-quarters of the total floor space has been dedicated to individual desks and workstations. While these might have been useful during a certain period, today they are not as useful in supporting teamwork or encouraging self-distancing. Furthermore, if you have been thinking of expanding your company, just adding a desk and a computer might just not be the right option at the time being. 

While the need for social distancing and safety has become paramount, productivity and teamwork are still the forces that move all businesses forward. If you are looking for a balanced compromise between the two, you might consider the innovations that communal areas dedicated to coworking bring. These areas will be spacious, bright, and airy. While they will allow multiple people to interact with each other, they can also minimise the risk of contagion. All this can be enhanced by the use of technology - which brings us to the next point! 

upgrading your technology and spaces

Collaboration and team working have increasingly become a digital affair - and the current pandemic has only worked towards speeding up this trend. With an increasing number of platforms and software, online collaborations and remote teams corporations have been streamlined. 

Asking the whole of your team to come back into the office might be too overwhelming for the time being. However, if you have decided to keep a portion of your team remote, investing the right technologies becomes crucial. In this case, speaking to a professional removal company and IT expert is crucial to design a smart space with all the equipment needed. 

Post COVID Office Return Employee Safety Protocols
Post COVID Office Return Employee Safety Protocols

 

 

an improved monitoring system

Monitoring strategies that can help you ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times might be necessary. These strategies can help you ensure that your employees feel safe and protected while focusing on their daily tasks. 

Strategies to keep the workplace clean and safe should include stricter cleaning guidelines for all office spaces, as well as increased facilities. Additionally, it is crucial to increase any PPE (personal protective equipment) that can be useful in this situation - including masks, gloves, and alcohol wipes. This can help you maintain the workplace much safer and securely. However, because of the modifications that you will need to implement, it is crucial to employ an expert. You might also consider relocating onto a more suitable building. 

Lastly, it is crucial to have a contingency plan ready in the case of another breakout or tighter social distancing measures. 

Opting for newer healthier buildings

If you have been renting your office space, this might be the right occasion to relocate into a newer, more modern, and healthier building. Indeed, the effects of sick building syndrome (SBS) have been worrying experts and company owners for years. However, it has never been as important as today to provide your employees with an environment that can help them look after their wellbeing. 

Indeed, buildings that offer fresh air, natural light, and access to a clean and comfortable space might represent an investment at first. However, you are likely to see a return on investment on the productivity and morale of your employees in no time. Relocating should be done swiftly and with greater care, especially during these uncertain times. Speaking to an expert company might help you decide on the best strategy for a stress-free experience. 

 

 

Moving House Under COVID Safety Framework in Queensland
Chess Moving are here to help you move house under Queensland COVID Safety Framework

new materials and designs for safer environment

Stuffy, mouldy, and dark offices are a thing of the past - and not because of the pandemic. As seen above, business owners and employees have been dealing with the symptoms of SBS for years. These often affect the respiratory system, immune system, and general wellbeing. They can also significantly affect morale and mental wellbeing. 

In a post-pandemic scenario, it becomes paramount to protect our employees from such issues. Therefore, investing in high-quality materials and furniture that are easy to clean and non-toxic is crucial. If your team has been working in a stuffy, old environment, it might be time to invest in new, healthier office spaces that can help you look after your whole team. 

downsizing your office to meet your employees needs

An increasing number of employees and businesses have appreciated the benefits that working from home and a remote workforce can bring Indeed, as a professional, you can cut down on the commuting time, and work from the comfort of your home. As a business owner, you can have access to a worldwide talent pool and cut down on office space and rent. 

While you might have been forced to adapt to this new way to conduct business during the pandemic, you might have also decided that this is the right move for you and your company. And, now that a portion of the team does not need to come into the office regularly, you might be considering the option to move into a smaller, more easily manageable space. This can help you ensure that your employees remain safe and sound, while you can also save more on the rent. 

moving towards a contactless world

Hand-free and contactless technologies have already started to revolutionise several aspects of our lives. However, it has never been as important as it is today to bring them into office spaces. Indeed, these additions might help your team members remain safe and ensure social distancing and personal hygiene measures. 

These systems utilise state-of-the-art technologies such as sensors, voice or facial recognition, and smartphones. This will prevent your employees from having to touch surfaces in public places. Alongside a strict cleaning routine, this technology can help you set up your business for the future and create a safer space today. 

increased focus towards the flow of people

While we have never put enough focus on the flow of people in office spaces, it is paramount to think about it in a post-pandemic era. Indeed, crowds, traffic, congestions, and groups of people might make the whole workplace less safe and comfortable for everybody. However, this is something that tends to happen naturally, especially if the common areas in your office are relatively small. It is easy to see how the kitchen can become overflowing during the lunch break!

Integrating systems that allow you to manage the flow and circulation of people within the office is crucial. 

increased work flexibility and versatile work frames

Most businesses have been thrown in the deep end of lockdowns and social distancing measures, with only a little time to adapt to the new ways to conduct business. However, while in the beginning, it all only represented a temporary solution, these work frames now need to become permanent. Therefore, ensuring that they are streamlined and refined is crucial.

These new work frames need to be suitable for a partially remote workforce and different rhythms. It is crucial to maintain enough flexibility for employees to find their patterns and schedules. 

a complete redesign of the office for tomorrow

Undoubtedly, office spaces need to change and adapt to new circumstances. However, barely increasing sanitation stations and adding notices across buildings might not be enough to create an environment that is inspiring and healthy. So, a complete transformation to reinvent the office spaces might be necessary to create a space that will remain suitable for years to come. This is also crucial to foster important aspects of teamwork and productivity, including remote and in-person collaboration and culture. 

finding alternative locations

Now that a portion of your team is remote, you might consider relocating to a new location. Until now, the obvious place for an office was inside the city centre, a choice related to convenience and accessibility. However, now, an increasing number of professionals work from home, and cities bring more risks than other areas due to the high population density. So, you might consider relocating your offices in the countryside and improve the space’s quality. Alternatively, you might consider using short leases and co-working spaces if your team is still small or growing. 

creating a more enticing environment for your employees

The shift in lifestyle initiated by the pandemic has had a long-lasting impact on our lifestyle. Today, just under the total number of employees would prefer to keep working from home as a default. 

Therefore, offices need to be much more than just a grey room where employees come to sit in front of their computers. Instead, office designers will need to work much harder to provide healthy, beautiful spaces where professionals will want to travel to every day. You can secure your own personalised and branding space by starting to think about relocating today. 

bottom line

So, you might be looking for the first home for your business or looking to relocate your expanding or changing company. In any case, moving out of space and into a new office can be an extremely stressful process for you and your employees. 

Here at Chess Moving, we have decades of experience in the field, and we understand the importance of completing the move in a streamlined way with minimal interference. We have also integrated extra safety measures to ensure an entirely safe moving day for you and your employees. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.


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Please note many Australian States are currently under different government enforced restrictions. Please visit your local state or Territories web page for current restrictions. Contact your local Chess Moving office for additional information.

With the corona virus (COVID-19) affecting communities, families, and people around the world, this is a difficult time for all of us. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected, directly or indirectly. At Chess Moving Australia, our priority remains the health and well-being of our employees, customers, and partners.

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