Feb 14, 2022

How to safely return to work following a Global Pandemic

After two years of a global pandemic that halted working in shared office spaces and catapulted remote work models, companies are confused as they attempt to make the return back to the office. Flowscape offers a hybrid alternative that is sure to maximize productivity and keep employees safe and healthy.

As COVID-19 progresses and different variants continue to surge, it’s difficult to know when and how it’s safe to return to the office. In a recent interview with CNN, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that employers and employees need to work together to keep the work environment safe—-by implementing a number of protocols.

Protocols include: Elimination of exposure,
indicating that as many people should be working at home as possible.

Personnel substitution: Designate core working groups that can work separately from each other. Assign a core staff leadership group to run operations and enforce protocols.

Building engineering: This means modifying and improving building ventilation, incorporating air filters if possible and incorporating touchless sinks, toilets, etc.

Administrative updates: Create a work environment that is socially distanced—plenty of space apart. De- densify the workplace by creating staggered shifts, which Flowscape can help directly with.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Employees should implement mask wearing indoors with colleagues until all mandates are lifted. Employees who commute should take extra precautions and wear a mask to and from the workplace.

While the future of the virus is uncertain, the future of work is not. Studies report a much higher satisfaction rate on behalf of employees when the hybrid work model has been adopted.

Outside of employee satisfaction, the hybrid workplace is the ideal work model to support a safe return to the office.

Hybrid working post-covid - the tools needed to start your journey

Employees can schedule their in office time adequately to maintain a low density of people in the workplace. Additionally, desks can be booked within fair distance of one another to ensure safe distancing. Employees who choose to drive to work can enjoy the benefit of reserving their parking spot in advance which will also minimize person to person contact.

Most people tend to ask if the workplace will ever look and feel the way that it did before the pandemic. Allen, and other infectious disease specialists believe it will never be the same. The idea of a communal workspace should be expulsed. People should not be convening in large groups or as effortlessly as they did in the past. With time, experts are hopeful that limited gatherings and celebrations will return, just not as saturated as they were before.

What should workers be asking their employers about returning safely to work?

Employees should be asking how leadership staff is modifying the building and workplace to create a “healthy building” with air purifiers, ample space, and a potentially staggered work schedule.

If employees are bold, they’ll be asking leadership staff to consider and adopt a hybrid work model with the help of Flowscape, as it is proven to be effective in returning back to the workplace in the COVID era.