Working environments are not what they once were. Many businesses are currently planning and undertaking a number of precautions and adjustments to places of employment to ensure that they are Covid compliant and safe for employees and visitors alike. With June 23rd moving closer in the UK, many businesses are contemplating how to best manage the various aspects of working conditions of their employees. Versatility and flexibility are two major considerations for many directors and managers. Balancing the needs of the business with those of the employee may sound like a daunting task; however, as the two are linked, it may not be as challenging as it sounds.
Some enterprises may be in a good position to follow the example of Price Waterhouse Cooper, embracing the new status quo by making flexible working hours the norm. For others, their business type will necessitate a return to the way things were, while others find a solution somewhere in-between the two. It is certain that no one solution can, should or would be suitable for all.
For many digital businesses, such as the digital publishing company AI Global media based in Burton on Trent, the way to welcoming staff back from working from home comes with many complications.
Sean Wilkins, Operations Manager of AI Global Business, outlined his process for making AI Global Media’s new office at, 1-2 Wetmore Road, Ground Floor, Suites B-D, Burton upon Trent, ready for occupancy.
Prior to moving into the new office, multiple seating plans were created which included going to an external firm to provide examples. These included:
The max capacity social distanced option was chosen. Desks have been spaced out, so no employee is sitting directly in front of another, and all are socially distanced of a meter apart.
A second seating plan, for having the office at max workforce capacity, is also required including a plan for moving equipment and resources.
A one-way system implemented with floor stickers showing the route placed on the carpet is meant to keep the staff socially distanced as they move around the office.
Anti-bacteria dispensers have been installed on the entrances to, and strategically within, the office.
Lateral flow tests are available to employees, returning to the office and those who are new to the business. The test is to be taken twice weekly; a negative is required.
Restrictions on the number of employees allowed in the office at any one time was implemented, to be reviewed when full access to the office is allowed.
The Directors of AI Global have also planned for a phased return to the office which will assist employees acclimating to the office environment again after working from home for so long.
Of course, with recent warnings from scientists to belay the 21st of June ‘unlocking’ of restrictions due to growing concerns of a third wave, the return to the office for many may still be in question.