Transforming the traditional? The post-COVID office…

By Anthony Wolny | 16th June 2020 | 8 min read

Over the last few months, organisations have been forced into digital transformations at top speed, rapidly reimagining how work can work.

But, what happens now?

As we start to emerge from the crisis, businesses are starting to get to grips with what the next normal will mean for them. This includes reorganising how traditionally office-based activities will work in the ‘next normal’, including:

  • Hot desking – although loved by many companies, the COVID-secure workplace is set to make hot-desking disappear. Instead, employees will be given a fixed desk, two meters apart from any other desk and likely with a cleanable Perspex divider (or similar) attached.
  • Office hygiene – washing hands, staying home when you’re poorly and regularly cleaning equipment and desks are going be ever more important in our workplaces. This means that employers will need to give employees easy access to temperature monitoring equipment, hand sanitiser, desk cleaner, tissues and more.
  • Working together – collaboration is likely to look very different in our post-COVID world. Organisations are being encouraged to continue virtual meetings wherever possible, even if they’re back to sharing a workplace together
  • Office capacity – it will no longer be acceptable to fit as many employees as you can seat into an office space. Instead, employers will need to limit the number of employees in the workplace at any one time and set the space up so employees can remain two metres apart. Staggered shift patterns and break times will help here, as will longer office opening hours. Employers can also arrange for employees to work in ‘social bubbles’ – fixed teams of the same people to avoid contact with lots of different people.
  • Home working – employees are being asked to work from home wherever possible while social distancing remains in place. This plays an important role of limiting the number of people using public transport too, so it would be reasonable to assume this guideline will continue. However, employers will also need to be sensitive to any employees who wish to work from home because they don’t feel safe returning to a workplace.
  • Team socials – as much as we’d all love to go back to spending time with our teams through activities like away days, charity bake sales and after work drinks, team socials are likely to stay virtual or social distanced for some time to come.

Get ready for ‘normal’

HR technology can support your journey into the next normal in many ways, including automating routine tasks, such as return to work processes. You’ll be able to simplify tasks such as absence tracking, equipment logs, contract changes, desk assessments and much more. Our communication tool, IRIS Engage, will also help your business communicate with your employees efficiently and effectively, no matter where they’re working.

Check out our checklist to better understand how you can get your workplace safe and COVID-secure.  

You can also watch our video to see how HR software can help – no matter where your people are working.