With 41% of Americans being fully vaccinated, and 51% having received at least one dose of the vaccine, it’s safe to say that tens of thousands of people will be reentering the in-office work force soon (if they haven’t already). One of the big questions then becomes: how will businesses handle that return on each and every level? Not only the bottom line but in the hearts and minds of its employees.
Here we will focus on the small - medium sized businesses, who likely have been hit the hardest during the pandemic. These small-mid level companies have limited, in some cases extremely limited, resources to combat, adapt to, and thrive in a ‘Covid-current’ world.
How to Adapt in a Covid-Current World
Google released a statistic stating that 20% of overall business staff will work from home permanently; another 20% will shift to new office locations, and about 60% will work in the office a few days a week. Sixty percent! Now, it will be significantly easier for a company with the resources of Google to accommodate that transition. But what about the little guy? Or the medium guy?
Another big entity, Bloomberg, recently published an article stating that some employees are simply quitting their jobs rather than giving up working from home. That same article also cited a key statistic: employees working in an open floor plan took 62% more sick leave than those who worked in private offices. You can see why people are more than hesitant to return to the office. So, how can we not only weather this complex storm of human emotion and potential detriment to business, but evolve and even increase productivity? On a limited budget no less…
I don’t want to skip over the most obvious and “easiest” things to implement: that being investing in masks and hand sanitizer, coupled with flex time schedules for your employees. Now that those “quick fixes” or micro solutions have been covered, let's focus on the MACRO…
Going Hybrid on a Budget
Being that you’re a small to medium business, you likely have limited physical office space; maybe that space has been downsized due to Covid-related budget cuts. It’s common for one person to have the role of an entire department, thus being responsible for coordinating this “back to the office” transition. The technology exists to help; and not just for the Google’s and Bloomberg’s of the world.
*Many workplace apps, new office technology and management tools support fundamental administrative tasks such as booking rooms and finding available hot desks. However, some apps are improving these functions further. Autonomous’ hybrid workspace solution allows a manager to map out the office quickly and reduce downtime. Apps like this work better when the company has a flexible workspace. Managers can take advantage of the mapping feature and implement movable furniture, such as portable whiteboards, ergonomic chairs, and standing desks. Placing office furniture bulk orders for essential equipment and other tools that improve collaboration is vital during this transition period.
Be Flexible, Make it Comfortable
Looking to find a flexible new way of working like a hybrid environment is something many business owners are doing right now, especially after learning to appreciate the value of online communication and business platforms. You may find a more modern and digital way to work with certain staff members, which can be more than just a solution to a problem; it could be a genuine asset to your company.
Apps like this work better when the company has a flexible workspace. Managers can take advantage of the mapping feature and implement movable furniture.
Ergonomics and Hybrid Workspace Solution
Ergonomic furniture can make or break an office. When employees know they’ll have comfortable and easy-to-use tools at work, they’ll have no trouble transitioning from remote working to working at the office where they know they’ll have everything they need to succeed.
Ergonomic products are the best investment you can make in a return-to-work plan when it comes to increasing your workers' productivity and creativity. The issue with offices is that if you sit for long periods, you can adapt to a bad posture, which produces back pain, neck pain, and other health problems. If your employees suffer from those problems, they can stop focusing on their work to focus on their pain, which decreases their work quality. However, you can prevent that from happening if you choose the right adjustable standing desks and ergonomic office chairs to create the productive desk setup for your office, so try looking for chairs that offer back support and are adjustable to your workers' personal choice.
Invest in Your Employees Physical & Mental Health
Implement an ergonomic workplace environment. Workers in 2021 deserve the kind of place to work in that is good for their health and allows them to flourish productively. Not only does an ergonomic space boost productivity in workers but it also makes them happier and less likely to be fatigued during the working day.
So, you see, there is a playbook out there; and it’s not just for the huge companies with nearly unlimited resources. You can implement significant, seamless upgrades on a budget; ALL while protecting the health of your staff and fostering their productivity! Autonomous IS that small to medium business. We’re all in this together.
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