Tech & trend

The Future of the Workplace

Before employees return to the office in a “COVID-normal” approach, there are some important safety measures that organisations should be working towards to ensure hygienic and low risk work environments for staff.

Working from home (WFH) has been the buzz statement of 2020 with many companies relocating most of their workforce to WFH in light of COVID-19. But of those who never worked from home before the pandemic and still aren't fully, 73% have said they never want to work from home post pandemic either, according to a YouGov survey. From March to June it was a novelty but after a while the ability to work in our pyjamas has officially worn off. Particularly, in some areas of the world where lockdown of cities has been extended and their citizens are under curfew, WFH simply does not have the same appeal as it once did. Despite the hype, the office is the best place for interaction and collaboration. (Croner-I 10.09.2020)

For many people, the excitement of a new normal and working from home is over, and they are ready to return to the office ..... but what will that return look like .......

The question is, how do we meet, collaborate and work when in a COVID-normal world?

In the UK, workplaces which are still open and running must adhere to government guidance as outlined by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), to have COVID-Safe plans in place. This includes factors such as social distancing, hygiene, and ventilation. With the office landscape changing companies are looking at the concept of office planning and understanding how to effectively manage a workspace effectively with innovative technologies.



Workforce trends

Social distancing is now an important defense in keeping workplaces running in a safe and healthy way. The 1.5m rule between people has now well and truly been etched into our brains, not only in our day to day personal lives e.g. going to the grocery store or travelling on public transport, but also while we work. Whether that is in an office or in a warehouse, it is imperative we abide by these guidelines.

Some trends for how employers can keep their staff safe in shared spaces, include the use of semi-permanent “barriers” between employees as well as “sneeze guards” to reduce exposure between a visitor and a member of staff. Other strategies include the reconfiguration of workstations and desks to allow space and create distance between people in shared or open plan office spaces.



Hot Desking and Booking Systems

Some organisations have adopted a hot desking system to encourage flexible working arrangements, keep staff safe and manage the use of the space inside the office. Booking systems for hot desking are an efficient way of tracking who needs a desk, where they need it and what time they will be there, all by using a mobile app and a digital interface on the desk itself.

Other advancements in booking systems include those relating to cleaning protocols. For example, automatic colour LED’s on the booking interface that give the message that the desk needs to be cleaned before another person can use it. These features can also assist with contact tracing for anyone who has come in contact with someone in the workplace who is ill.

LINAK desk with green lights


Further safety measures

Enhancing safety measures, such as touchless movement of height adjustable desks, is now even more of an important consideration for organisations. For example, a desk fitted with a LINAK system (DPG) can be adjusted with ease with an Desk Control App, either via the user’s mobile phone or a desktop PC. This avoids unnecessary touching of desk components, furthermore stopping the spread of any germs onto surfaces. The app can also be used to set any additional features of the desk the user wishes to utilise, including memory and reminder functions. Measures such as these will also maintain the general health and well-being of employees. Companies also have the flexibility to customise the DPG with their logo or even a staff members name, to ensure safe and easy visuals of who’s desk is who's.

DPG with reminder

As we move into this COVID-normal world, it is as important as ever for organisations to adopt new ways of working to ensure the safety and welfare of their employees. LINAK strives to meet the future through innovation and new technologies.

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