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Workplaces should cater for safety, flexibility and human sentiment

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Our clients are telling us that post lockdown, the immediate concern is how they re-mobilise business environments while ensuring employees feel safe.

As we adapt our workplaces, we should be catering not just for safety, but also flexibility and human sentiment.

For an office to operate, it should be covid secure on day 1, but it should be able to flex quickly as restrictions ease, allowing more people to return to the office with confidence. 

FLEXIBILITY

A 60-person office might only occupy 15-20 people initially. While you may have discovered that some of your staff can work effectively from home, you are likely to want to increase occupancy for those who can’t.

There is a sweet spot for your company: a perfect ratio of home workers to office workers that will allow both business and individuals to thrive. Once that is identified, you can begin to look beyond your immediate response and work out what the future of work looks like for your team.

Now is the time to spend money wisely as there will be further adjustments to what is ‘normal’ over the next 12 months. If investing now in new practices will positively impact your top line and business, invest, but know that that you may have to re-adjust in the coming months. If the impact will be negligible, only invest where it is needed.

We’re working with our clients to establish short, mid and long-term options that impact team wellbeing and output and optimise floorplates to allow greater density of staff and repurposing of space over time. Longer term, we’re assisting with the redesign of office space considering the impact that this experience has had on your business, who uses your space and how.

Should you find that your current office is no longer appropriate for your business, we are uniquely placed to help find alternative premises, working with agents and landlords to find and design covid secure Cat A+ space and serviced office space for companies that need new premises and flexible leasing terms at minimal cost. 

HUMAN SENTIMENT

Safety and security are fundamental human needs and your employees should be confident that you are doing all you can to protect the health of them and their families.

We work with our clients not just by delivering safe protocol and practical space solutions but also by totally engaging with their people. Through employee surveys, home-working assessments and interviews we develop a deep understanding of the outcome they need and help you translate that into tailor-made best practice.

We support with change management and comms services and provide a Hybrid Working playbook to provide clear guidelines and understanding.

We also provide ergonomic furniture for home offices where it's necessary, ensuring that every employee is considered and catered wherever they are working from. 

SAFETY

Creating a safe environment for your team is paramount and a thorough review of your space will highlight any risk areas that can be addressed immediately or should be reviewed as part of a longer-term health and safety strategy.

We’re currently working with our clients to find immediate solutions for high-touch items, removing items such as whiteboards and surplus white goods, and installing easy-to-switch items such as motion-activated doors (and the associated tech), temporary amendments to existing ironmongery, more hygienic finishes to work surfaces, and sensor-driven toilet flush systems.

Making changes to your space without compromising existing safety measures (e.g. fire regulations) is a tightrope we help you walk to keep your entire team safe.

To aid your employees’ return to work, we manage the sourcing of any furniture additions such as Perspex shields, desk dividers and sanitation stations. We’re providing our clients with desk utilisation plans, showing which desks are available at 50% occupation for use in line with the government guidelines, and including proposals for the restructuring of desk arrangements where required.

We manage the removal and storage of surplus furniture should that be necessary, which can be brought back in as your company flexes, re-installed over a weekend whenever you are ready.

We will review how your office space is being used, determining safe circulation systems around the office and defining proposals to aid this change through additional wayfinding and finishes.

Air systems should be assessed and we provide recommendations to reduce the risk of virus transmission. We also install air quality monitoring systems as well as temperature sensors and headcount technology so that companies have transparency and control of their environment and population.

For more information on Hybrid Working:

Download our Hybrid Working PDF

or speak to our team at hello@thirdwayinteriors.com or 020 7846 0686

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