30% of workers would quit their jobs if their offices were not made COVID-19 safe
With lockdown measures being somewhat lifted across the world, and many employees making a tentative return to company headquarters, businesses are now being advised to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments in order to reassure their employees of a safe space in which to work.
According to a recent report by HR Review, 30% of workers would quit their jobs if their offices were not made COVID-19 ‘safe’. While 40% of staff would not return to work without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The report also found that more than two-fifths of employees are feeling nervous about the idea of returning to work.
While Coronavirus has seen the trend for homeworking accelerated, what’s become clear is that teams don’t necessarily want to do it every day – if they can help it. The lack of socialisation and opportunities for collaboration have seen some individuals struggle in isolation, but there is work still to be done before people can return to their desks. Employees will now look to their employers for reassurance that they will be upholding their ‘duty of care’ for a safe return to base.
Government guidelines for making offices COVID-19 friendly suggest introducing one-way systems, spaced out desks, the use of PPE equipment where necessary and a diligent approach to surface and equipment cleanliness.
From a practical point of view, there will need to be investment into technology which supports the upsurge in flexible working too. For larger organisations, systems which allow employees to ‘book’ time in the office should help to avoid overcrowding – and keep colleagues safe.
Alongside the reactive changes which will need to be made in the immediate future, there will inevitably be a longer-term shift in the design of communal areas. Take one of Agilité Solutions’ own projects, for example – a client has asked for a planned breakout space to be reconsidered in order to reduce the number of surfaces which have the potential for contamination.
These don’t have to be revolutionary adaptations – simple solutions such as automatic on/off sensors for taps, new seating layouts and alternative materials, all play a vital role.
Whether a multi tenancy building or single firm occupancy, be aware of entry points, shared corridors and facilities or waiting areas – and the potential for contamination. And, once inside, pay close attention to the quality of the fit-out. Everything from the ease of the coffee-making facilities to the recreational space will play its part in reassuring workers that they can socialise safely – during breaktimes or in meetings.
To find out how we can help you with your COVID-19 safe office fitout, contact Agilité Solutions today.