Employers are finalising plans for a safe return to the workplace. But given the COVID-19 variants, many employees won’t be giving up remote work entirely. Asam Akhtar, Channel Manager at Envoy, provides tips as to how businesses can adapt to succeed and provide a safe return to the workplace for employees.
Employers are finalising plans for a safe return to the workplace. But given the COVID-19 variants, many employees won’t be giving up remote work entirely. 47% say they would quit their job if splitting work time between home and the office were no longer an option.
Workers still want flexibility, which won’t change anytime soon. And their expectations of returning to the workplace are also high. They’ll want an effortless, safe and gratifying experience. So, to prepare for the inevitable, remain open-minded when it comes to flexible, hybrid schedules. Revisit and strengthen, if necessary, the health protocols that keep everyone safe. And embrace workplace technology that helps employees be productive and do their best work, regardless of where they work.
Prioritise safety and well-being
Health and safety come first. So at a bare minimum, you’ll want to implement regular lateral flow tests, social distancing, and regular sanitisation of office spaces to protect staff and minimise any business disruption.
Many facilities teams are feeling the burden of the new requirements and will need technology designed specifically to ease the safe and efficient transition back to the workplace. Look for solutions that give your team visibility into the foot traffic – who and how many people plan to work on-site each day. This will help administrative teams right-size the space layout, staffing, and resources and prevent the workplace from getting too crowded.
Make sure everyone who comes on-site is cleared to do so. Applications that verify vaccination status or require employees to complete virtual health screenings before arrival on-site are becoming more common. These protocols, when enforced, can give employees in the office the peace of mind they need to focus on work.
Embrace collaboration technology
To help employees thrive across distributed work teams, adopt (if you haven’t already) the ubiquitous cloud tech and work management tools that make collaboration a little easier. For example, business messaging apps such as Slack or work management platforms like Asana have helped many remote workers drastically improve visibility, communication, and coordination among team members in a hybrid environment.
Consider a workplace platform that makes desk booking easy for those who have downsized office space or have hired more employees than you have space for. Most employees plan to coordinate their office schedules around the people they need to work with. Therefore, they will need to see exactly who’s coming in and when so they can book desks near teammates, day-of or months in advance.
Make the commute easier
The traditional commute is expensive and takes a toll on employees. However, since the pandemic and the shift to remote work, more employees are now demanding that employers support alternative methods of travel that are less stressful and more sustainable.
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According to research from DASH Rides, 82% of homeworkers want employers to rethink the employee benefits and perks they offer and include travel subsidies or cycle-to-work schemes. With employee benefits playing an increasingly large role in career decisions, helping employees explore alternative commute options will be key to keeping workers happy.
This is the time to proactively adapt – building solid protocols and adopting the right solutions to lead to a more efficient workplace and happier, healthier workers.