When businesses first started bringing staff back into the office a few months ago, most assumed that COVID-19 cases would continue declining, leading to a steady increase in workers onsite. Unfortunately, due to the combined issues of vaccine hesitancy and viral mutations, COVID-19 has continued to spread rapidly, trapping businesses in a stricter hybrid arrangement.
If your business is currently navigating safety within hybrid office settings, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. These four tools will prime your organization for both safety and efficiency, ensuring that staff can return to the premises with peace of mind.
Offices have seen significant reconfiguration over the last few decades, but one change that hybrid work is likely to reinforce is the shift away from individual desks and toward areas designed for collaborative work.
By designing purpose-driven spaces, offices are acknowledging the reality that staff only really need to come to the office for specific activities, rather than heeding to older norms, that insisted staff be onsite every day, regardless of whether their role demanded it. These spaces should be equipped with larger screens, flexible desk setups, and other items that can be used for group-oriented activities, as opposed to just answering emails or compiling reports.
Keep It Clean
Another important issue you’ll need to address as staff come back to work is cleanliness, especially in terms of ventilation. One way to do this, in addition to using conventional purifiers, is by installing UV air sterilization devices, which are widely used in healthcare settings, restaurants, and laboratories, among other facilities. They’re quick and efficient and can tackle airborne disease threats with ease.
Technology moves fast, so the computers you left behind in the office two years ago may not be operating as well as you’d like. Take some time to review the systems, make appropriate upgrades, and determine where you stand. Even if your operating system is working well for your needs, you might consider upgrading the motherboard, adding more memory, or adding new security systems to keep up with the changing threat profile.
Mobile Security Upgrades
The more frequently staff are moving between different locations for work, whether they’re simply splitting time between the office and home or traveling more widely, the more important it is that staff have appropriate mobile security tools.
To that end, offices need to make sure that all team members have access to a virtual private network (VPN), are using multi-factor authentication tools, upgrading their PINs regularly, and are generally engaged in best practices in terms of web access and communications.
In many ways, the transition to hybrid work falls differently on all parties – while managers and C-Suite professionals will need to consider issues like security and upgraded technology, staff need to consider their own flexibility. That means making sure, as an individual, that you have everything on hand to switch between your home office and the main site, like extra chargers and headphones, PPE, and commuting supplies. Transitions are destabilizing, but by coordinating between the individual and the office, you can be ready for whatever the day throws your way.