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(Original story at FORBES)
In 2020, the world changed forever because of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the world attempts to return to normal in 2021, your office will need to get back to 100%. However, things will not be the same. The specter of future outbreaks is very real. Therefore, it will be important to prepare your office. Here is a look at three ways that you can prepare your office for a world after the pandemic.
1. Smarter Office Design
One of the first things that your management team has to do is completely rethink the design of your office. That is because viral diseases can be more easily transmitted when people are situated closer to each other. This means that leaders should be mindful of the space around each employee. Here are some of the ways that you can re-design your office in a cost-effective manner.
• One-Way Entrance: One effective way to prevent close interactions is to have a dedicated entrance for people entering your office. Also, there should be a second door dedicated to exiting the office. This can help lower the chances of viral disease transmission.
• One-Way Pathways: In addition to creating one-way doors, your office should also have one-way pathways. This can also help lower the chances of close interactions.
• Social Distance Design: Finally, your team will want to take a look at creating distance between employees’ workspaces. This could be a challenge if you are trying to be efficient with your office space. However, a simple redesign of your workstation locations should be able to get the job done.
2. Remote Working Solutions
While you will have a number of employees headed back to the office, you can take advantage of emerging technology to leave a percentage of your employees at home. In fact, a recent Stanford University study states that 42% of employees are working from home. There are a number of remote working solutions that can get the job done. Here’s a look at some of the technology needed to create a virtual or remote workplace.
• SaaS: Having a top SaaS will allow your teams to better organize and work on data and systems no matter where they are located.
• Video Conferencing: A top video conference service can allow your teams to meet and trade ideas in a secure service. Best of all, these video meetings can be recorded for note-taking and future reference.
• Teleconferencing: When the video is not necessary, you can use teleconferencing to allow multiple team members to participate in a call.
There are a number of companies that provide top-tier video conferencing, telecommunication and SaaS solutions. Over time, this more efficient approach can lead to positive effects on revenue, profit and income. In fact, a recent study revealed that remote employees end up working 16.8 more days a year versus non-work-from-home employees.
3. Clean Office Solutions
A clean office will lower the chance of transmission. Therefore, it is important to have a plan for regular cleaning of all surfaces in the office. Here are some of the most popular approaches I’ve observed to have a clean office:
• Antimicrobial Cleaning Materials: Using antimicrobial wipes and sprays can help kill the coronavirus and lower the chances of transmission.
• Professional Cleaning Service: A daily professional cleaning of the office will help keep the work areas safe.
• Proper Employee Habits: Creating a program that encourages proper employee sanitary habits can help create an office free of viral transmission.
Maintaining A Safe Office
Just about every marketplace will be making dramatic changes to the way it operates as people go back into the workplace. You can prepare your office through smarter office design, remote working solutions and clean office practices. By implementing all of these steps, your office will be ready to thrive.