The government has issued an update advising on the next steps to combating the Coronavirus pandemic. In line with this announcement businesses are now beginning to visualise working life during and beyond COVID-19. It begs the question what will the new normal look like and how can businesses adjust.
For all businesses the first priority is to ensure the safety of staff and customers. This should ordinarily be the main concern for any business as directors are solely responsible for the wellbeing of employees and anyone that comes into contact with their company. But in these uncertain times the message around safety couldn't be any clearer. It must take precedence over any decisions business owners make with regards to emerging into the new world under the current regulations.
The rules that are governed to protect us are complex but the biggest part of this new working reality is ensuring social distancing rules are in place and enforced. The six feet or two-metre ruling has now become a commonly used phrase in our vocabulary and is something we all need to understand and adhere to.
The virus does not discriminate and is progressive beyond a point of real understanding. Therefore, it is critical that the distancing ruling is included into everyday office life and should be seen as the golden rule to normalising society back to work.
Social Distancing Adjustments
At Halcyon offices we will be making social distancing adjustments to the way our staff and our clients operate. These new steps will be implemented to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
Anyone using commons areas will be asked to observe the guidelines to maintain the safe distance. Additional floor markings and signage will be used advising on the maximum number of people allowed in a space at one time. At teas points, for example, we will operate as ‘one in one out’, a concept we are all getting used to.
To protect our staff, we are asking clients to keep their distance from our concierge and operations teams. Instead of talking face to face, we have incorporated the process of using email or telephone to discuss operational and other needs wherever possible.
In preparation to return to work we are asking all our clients to consider their individual needs and put in place effective measures to enhance the safety of their teams and workspaces.
Options we see being adopted so far by our clients include:
• Repositioning location of desks in offices
• Marking 6 feet zones around desks
• Coming into the office on a shift basis
• Incorporating more remote working
• Increase use of virtual meetings
• Looking at bigger or extra office spaces
The new reality
The pandemic has affected us all. Overnight our lives were effectively turned upside down, with the enforcement of the lockdown. Who could have foreseen this? Consider only a few months before when business owners were conducting their review of 2019 and making exciting plans for 2020.
But as the government works with scientific advisers to find a solution the overarching message is still very much that we are in the midst of a crisis. This means that with every new development the information is constantly changing and being updated to reflect the current situation.
We advise business owners to stay up to date with governmental advice to ensure their business practises and procedures are operating in accordance to the rules.
Whilst we rest in a place of uncertainty it’s how we emerge into the new world that will make the difference. With lockdown restrictions easing (at the time of writing this) we all have a part in shaping what the new normal will resemble.
By following the rules, adhering to guidelines and staying up to date with the news we hope our efforts will serve to not only protect ourselves, colleagues, clients and families but also our businesses. And as business owners push through one of the worst crises in our lifetime, they need to be implicit in ensuring safety is at the top of their agenda.
Contact us to find out more about Halcyon Offices Workspaces