Five keys to getting back to work safely and more productively after summer

Five keys to getting back to work safely and more productively after summer

With August just around the corner, many businesses are wondering what it’s like to return to the office after the holidays. And has the pandemic created a set of unique challenges that, a year later, continue to condition workplace management. Companies are starting to plan the workplaces of the future to meet the new needs and preferences of their employees. ISS, a leading company in Facility Management and the workplace, highlights five keys for companies to take advantage of all the possibilities of workspaces and find solutions to the challenges of the post-pandemic.

Listen to the employee’s voice

Listening to the needs of employees is at the heart of workplace design. Needs which have changed after the pandemic and which condition the reopening and organization of work spaces and dynamics. According to a McKinsey report, 52% of workers are opting for a more flexible work model than before. In this sense, companies must activate listening processes (surveys, interviews, etc.) which make it possible to obtain information on employee preferences and thus increase their commitment and strengthen the feeling of belonging. . And it is that the relationship between presence and telecommuting will become more organic than ever, with the implications of rethinking an effective work culture for employees who are not in company facilities.

Rethinking physical spaces

From an understanding of employee needs, the only way to rethink and transform workspaces is through an analytical methodology. According to a 2020 Deloitte study, 6 out of 10 executives focused their work strategies on reinventing their workspaces. To do this, one of the first actions of companies before returning from vacation will be to review the occupation and behavior of workspaces. Quantitative counts and qualitative assessments will uncover the actual needs and use of office space and facilities after the pandemic. Thanks to this analysis, ISS was able to draw some conclusions:

Presence in the workplace is not yet the majority: on average, 51% of jobs are occupied, with maximum peaks of 65% on average.

Meeting rooms are underutilized: only 42% of seats are used in meetings. Meetings are more virtual than physical since up to 22% of them have only one person in the room.

Lack of qualitative spaces: there is an absence of spaces intended for concentration or for more reflective work.

Develop employee confidence and well-being

In addition to health activities focused on physical and mental well-being, cleanliness has become the priority in work environments. Tracking and quantifying hygiene levels gives employees the peace of mind they need. And it is that the projection of the workplace as a safe environment supposes not only a policy of well-being, but also an economic measure. A recent study by the consulting firm IBI (Integrated Benefit Institute) that assesses the health and well-being of workers calculated losses of $ 575 billion for North American companies due to the illness or loss of their employees. in 2020.

Keep people engaged and productive beyond the office

The emergence of teleworking generated a paradigm for which neither companies nor employees seemed prepared. More than half of employees (58%) still do not have space in their adapted accommodation to carry out their work, according to a report by Lessman Consultant which measures and analyzes the experience of people in their workplace. To do this, companies must present solutions that promote collaboration, innovation and productivity, and that their employees can work with all the comfort and security of the office. These solutions must be diversified and focus on different issues, from professional training adapted to the new reality to the provision of technical and ergonomic equipment, including issues considered in face-to-face work such as food or safety. at work.

Create a sense of belonging

As the workplace shifts from physical to remote spaces, many companies are wondering how to maintain a corporate culture, positive motivation, and a sense of belonging. To this end, figures such as the Workplace Experience Manager exemplify this paradigm shift, taking responsibility for generating valuable experiences in the workspace for employees. The construction of the concept of community will become at the center of the policies of many companies. From small-scale ideas to global initiatives, it will take a 360-degree approach to bridge the gap between “working as a space” and “working as a community”.

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