The criteria for judging an effective and efficient workplace shifted when COVID-19 hit. Employees were no longer able to come into the office and the percentage of remote workers jumped from 31% to 62% in three weeks in the US. Work travel came to a standstill and in-person meetings became obsolete. The qualities that once indicated a healthy, growing office became impossible. In the midst of the pandemic, what qualities should workplaces spend time facilitating?
The percentage of remote workers jumped from 31% to 62% in three weeks
First and foremost, employee safety is a primary concern. Social distancing, washing hands, and proper mask use are imperative when it comes to keeping employees healthy enough to work. Don’t become complacent over time-- just one positive COVID-19 case will shut down an entire office. Focus on employee safety through education and employee guidelines to maintain office efficacy.
Now is the time to invest in a touch-free office space. While this will be helpful while COVID-19 is rampant, it may also reduce the spread of the common cold and flu for years to come. In addition to touch-free doors, consider retiring the old pen and paper sign-in system. Reduce shared writing utensils and maximize the effectiveness of your sign-in system with Wellcome. The app-free, touchless sign-in system is scanned using a digital pass in the employee’s Google or Android wallet so employers can stop overcrowding before it starts and manage contact tracing in case an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
Flexible work arrangements
Wellcome's workplace management platform enables employees to pre-schedule in-office work days, so that you have visibility of their plans and the office is never over capacity
Just because a 9-5 office schedule is the “way it’s always been done” doesn’t mean it’s the way it should always be-- especially during a pandemic. Consider working with employees to develop working hours and in-office days that will allow them to be most productive. A flexible work schedule boosts employee morale while boosting productivity. Wellcome's workplace management platform enables employees to pre-schedule in-office work days, so that you have visibility of their plans and the office is never over capacity
A survey conducted by PRNEWS and CS&A International revealed that only 62% of companies have a crisis management plan and less than half of those surveyed say the plans are up to date. As we’ve seen this year, every company across the globe can be affected by things outside their control. The only thing we can control is the way we react. Now is the time to update your crisis management plan, and make sure it is accessible and understood by everyone.
Adaptable and innovative mindset
The ability to adapt is one of the key qualities of efficient and effective workplaces. Offices with no remote workers before 2020 went fully remote, Michelin-starred restaurants innovated with takeout or cooking kits, and liquor companies began producing hand sanitizer. While keeping your mission in mind, consider how your business can adapt to thrive instead of just surviving the pandemic.
While the bottom line is an important factor while measuring office effectiveness and company growth, do not neglect the people responsible for doing the work. When an office focuses on people first, employees feel supported and valued in the work they do, creating an efficient and effective office culture.