COVID has caused us all to rethink the way we do things. Where we spend time, who we interact with, and how we interact with each other are all things to consider. Nothing is what it used to be, and we all have to adjust to a new “normal.” This goes for the workplace too.
According to the AP News, “The coronavirus already changed the way we work. Now it’s changing the physical space, too.”
Offices Are Changing
Offices are changing after COVID; there are new ways of doing business, holding meetings, and structuring offices. It’s necessary to keep employees feeling safe and valued.
Here are some of the things you can expect to see when returning to your office:
Employees don’t want to spend time in a shared office space, especially if that space is small and enclosed. Offices are restructuring their layouts to spread workstations out and even shift schedules to reduce the number of people in the office at one time.
Guard shields are also being installed between desks in a shared space to keep employees socially distanced. Employees are rotating days they work in the office and days they work remotely to reduce the number of people within the office space.
To reduce the number of people gathered together in a conference room, companies continue to hold video meetings, both with company employees and clients. This allows everyone to feel a little safer and maintain a safe distance.
Some companies require masks to continue to be worn within the office, even if you’re vaccinated. They feel this helps protect everyone who works in the office and everyone those people come in contact with. We could be wearing masks for a long time to come, to get used to it.
Vaccinate or Get Tested
Many companies require employees to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID testing. Some companies are even bypassing the testing option and requiring all employees to be vaccinated.
Be prepared. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, then you may need to continue to work remotely or find another job.
Higher Cleaning Standards
With the heightened awareness of COVID and the concern of quickly passing germs along, many companies are upping their cleaning game. They’re sanitizing more, requiring more hand washing, and making adjustments to reduce the spreading of germs.
This also means they’re reducing employee benefits like the shared coffee machine and snack basket in the break room.
Health and Wellness Policies
Through the pandemic, many people suffered from mental health issues. Being disconnected from other people and quarantining was difficult for many, and the fear of catching COVID has heightened stress levels.
Companies are starting to take their health and wellness practices more seriously to provide mental health solutions for their employees. This may include gym memberships, classes, or handouts on ways to reduce stress. You can expect your company to take your health and wellness much more seriously.
Offices are changing after COVID, and we may never see a return to what they were before, but many companies are looking for ways to improve what they do to take care of their employees. This is a change in the right direction.
If You Need Help With Your Career
If you find yourself in a situation where you need career advice and want to talk about navigating it and planning for your future, reach out to Rachel Schneider with CareerFind for a free intro call.