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New times & new realities: returning to the workplace post-COVID

It’s important now more than ever to create a safe and effective work environment for people to get back into the workplace. Since the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of workers to transition out of the office to work from home, workspaces must adapt to the changing circumstances in order to create productive environments that make workers feel comfortable coming back. 

Since March, employees have been out of the workplace and navigating new conditions as remote work became the new reality. Collaborating over online platforms and working from home has its limitations, however, including an erosion of company culture and a lack of personal connectivity. While returning to the office, the safety and health of workers must be prioritized. Workplace design has to change to meet these needs.

To adapt to the new normal, organizations need to make certain workplace changes. In order to create an effective environment while facing the realities of COVID-19, organizations should consider:

Employee health and safety: Right now, more than three-fourths of workers say they are uncomfortable returning to the office if protective measures are not implemented. Precautions such as face masks, health checks, and physical barriers are all important for promoting workplace safety. 

Growth and productivity: Research shows that working from home eventually hurts organizational culture and innovation. The workplace is essential for company growth and team building. In fact, 88% of workers want to return to the office. Personal collaboration and workplace relationships are important building blocks of productivity and an effective workplace environment.

Adapting office configuration: Now is the time for change. We can’t return to workplace-as-usual, risking the loss of revenue, productivity and employees. As organizations start bringing people back into the workplace, it’s important to reconfigure office spaces in order to promote safe physical distancing, as well as provide safety measures such as protective barriers.

Offices can strategize to face the new normal by considering these changes and implementing safe office solutions. As people go back to work, redesign and reconfiguration can help make the transition smoother and more safe.

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