COVID-19 Back to Work Adjustments: Strategies to Ready the Workplace as the Economy Reopens

Now that the economy is bent on reopening despite the delta virus, employers are back to the drawing board on how to get the workplace ready. It’s understandable. As fear has been embedded into our collective consciousness thanks to the daily bombardment of virus updates on infections and deaths, many American employees fear getting back to work. A survey showed over 5 % of workers (surveyed) fears being exposed to the virus in the workplace.

The good news is the majority of those surveyed (70%) are confident they will be taken care of by their employers when they decide to return to work. Of course, they’re talking about various ways management can lessen the impact of the virus in the workplace.

It’s paramount, therefore, on your part to make ready the workplace for your employees. And this should be undertaken with care unless you decide to go Facebook’s way — let employees go remote working for good (or at least until the virus lasts).

Fortunately for you, there are expert ways to lessen the impact of the virus in the workplace. Indeed, you need not bend over backward just to get things done. Below are essential strategies you could factor in to keep employee productivity up minus the infection risk.

Augmented Reality Workstations

You’ve heard of Augmented Reality games (AR) where players delve into an enhanced reality world, a mix of what’s existing in the real world with digital visual elements. Well, that unique digital possibility offers a great way to office productivity.

No less than Facebook itself is exploring such a set-up. By experimenting with such an ambitious plan, the social network details they can see the chance of creating “infinite workstations” that makes possible the collaboration of co-workers via virtual meeting rooms. They even have Codec Avatars, life-like representations of employees to foster interaction in the AR workplace.

Closed Office Plan

As the pandemic raged on, experts were touting the need to do away with the open office plan as it can be instrumental in spreading viral infections. While there’s a healthy debate over the merits of a less open office plan, many are seeing it to be a necessity over time.

Indeed, it may protect people from infection but a closed office plan has its downside. Workers might not view such a more constricted spacing as social-friendly. That can throw people who cherish social interaction as part and parcel of office life.

If you’re planning not to pursue a totally closed office plan, you can use Plexiglas barriers to impose social distancing. Additionally, you can also explore wall frames made of metal studs and track. Not only are do these steel frames come cheap, but also they’re sturdy and can be installed quickly. In short, they can be a viable way to impose a closed office plan should you decide to go for it.

However, if you choose to keep the open-office plan, you may have to adjust your office furniture. Instead of the usual 1.8-meter desks, you may have to cut the size to 1.4 meters so people can work with bigger space between them, at least six meters apart.

no walking sign

More Signs

You may have to make the most of more signs to give your workplace a timely boost. Why? Think of it as directing traffic. As your need to keep employees as far away from each other heightens, you will have to deploy markings to indicate directions. An example is the floor signs to denote standing apart in the elevator.

Sometimes, signs can be a timely reminder not to converge. Places such as the pantry can easily become a favorite spot for people to do small talk and in the process come in contact with one another dangerously.

Deploy Contactless Technology

Where there is contact, there is the possibility of the virus traveling from one person to the other. By the same token, the more places in your workplace people touch, the greater the danger.

Thus, employing contactless technology truly matters in a COVID-19 world. We’re talking about motion sensor doors that need no touching to open or coffee that can be ordered right from your smartphone.

Mobile technology also can pitch in. There are companies using beacons to track employee movement via their very own mobile phones. When two employees come dangerously close to one another, less than six feet apart, the system sends alerts.

It’s definitely state-of-the-art. But it shows there are a lot of things we can do to minimize contact. When you can get your act together, your overall profits should soar like an eagle in no time.

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