Little by little, the phased de-escalation will bring us back to the office after preventive confinement in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Obviously nothing will be the same and that is why there is talk of a “new normality” of which we still do not have absolute certainty. That is why this return to work in the physical spaces of companies requires the necessary precautions in terms of health.
But parallel to such preventive measures, it is also pertinent to know how to identify the challenges and changes imposed by the current circumstances. It is also essential to consider the opportunities that companies should take advantage of to adapt their processes to this unprecedented reality and strengthen their brand presence.
Measures To Return Safely To The Office After Confinement
Indeed, it is not about creating panic among collaborators, but about understanding that we return to work in closed and crowded spaces. So it is necessary to follow the recommendations and measures suggested by the authorities.
Manage The Return To Physical Spaces
Just as the normalization phases are being arranged at the social level, companies must implement a particular schedule for de- escalation and programmed reintegration. In this sense, it is recommended:
- Prioritize the return of staff in the most essential areas and in which teleworking is not feasible.
- Likewise, postpone the return of personnel who must cover long distances to go from their home to the office.
- It is also important to stay informed about employees infected with Covid 19 or with symptoms of respiratory conditions. These personnel should not return until they have overcome the disease and their health conditions are assessed.
- Consider the possibility of implementing open spaces (open space) so that employees work in the place of the facilities where they feel most comfortable. In this way, crowds in certain areas can be avoided.
Sanitary Precautions In The Office After Confinement
Even when a scheduled return of employees is carried out at the company’s facilities, it is essential to take all possible precautions, including:
- Constantly clean surfaces that staff frequently touch with their hands. Specifically, tables, computer keyboards and water dispensers, among others.
- Provide workers with personal protective equipment (PPE): masks, gloves and hydroalcoholic solution. It is also a priority to have liquid soap for frequent hand washing.
- Arrange preventive distances between workstations. Although the authorities have established a minimum separation of 1.5 m between people, it is necessary to extend it as much as possible to be more protected in the office after confinement .
- In the same way, it is a priority to regulate the temperature inside the offices between 23⁰ and 26⁰ C and to carry out the maintenance of air filters . It is also vital to increase the ventilation function of air conditioning equipment, in order to promote regular air renewal.
Manage Emotional PPE To Face The Return To The Office After Confinement
Currently it is common to hear about the “cabin syndrome” which encompasses a series of disorders generated by prolonged periods of isolation, including:
- Fear of going outside
- Apathy and difficulty concentrating at work
- Emotional lack of control, with episodes of sadness, restlessness, insecurity, anxiety and frustration.
- Abuse in the consumption of coffee, sweets and cigarettes.
Obviously not all companies can hire a psychotherapist or coach to advise employees who return to the office after confinement . But part of the leader’s responsibility is to gather enough information to help his team overcome these difficulties.
Based on this, some companies establish 30-minute meetings within the working day to do group therapy. During it, each member of the team can freely expose her emotional state in order to create a commitment of reciprocal support. As a complement during the activity, it is recommended to watch videos in which specialists in psychology and recognized motivators intervene.
Business Challenges And Opportunities Post-Covid 19
In this sense, management specialists and renowned businessmen agree in pointing to digitization as the most important challenge that companies must take on in the post-Covid 19 era . Indeed, phenomena such as ecommerce , the increase in mobile Internet connections and interaction through social networks have a powerful influence on the market. And the use of effective tools to monitor its variables will make it possible to visualize and take better advantage of the opportunities, as well as minimize risks.
Know More And Better The Client
The coronavirus crisis is generating changes in the perception of events and realities that affect them directly or indirectly. Undoubtedly, fast and constant access to a large amount of information allows you, for example, to share content related to companies and give your opinion about them.
Well, one of the advantages of digitization is the possibility of knowing more and better the target audiences, transcending demographic data. In other words, it is possible to have a broader profile that includes their thoughts and attitudes, thanks to the monitoring of their interactions through social listening . This is just to name a tool for measuring digital marketing strategies.
Positive Changes In Corporate Culture
The appearance of the coronavirus caused many companies to accelerate or unexpectedly start their digital transformation . Precisely, the need to maintain operability prompted the implementation of teleworking, with the support of various communication and collaboration platforms in the cloud . Through them, it has been possible to remotely monitor the work of the collaborators and obtain a good level of productivity and profitability.
Consequently, for the staff of many of these organizations, the return to the office after confinement will not be the same. In fact, some surveys reveal that almost half of them will continue to work remotely . Undoubtedly, this reality forces us to rethink the corporate culture to favor disruptive styles of labor relations previously limited to large technology companies.
That is why it is not an exaggeration to predict a decline in the face-to-face work modality and the rise of work- life balance . But unlike what is currently happening, it will not only work as a motivational element but as a common condition in companies.