According to the Department of Labour, only 60% of businesses are compliant with Covid-19 regulations. Are you prepared?
Our everyday reality has changed, and companies are working around the clock to implement important new health and safety measures in the workplace. Preparing for and most importantly, acclimatising, to the new normal will be critical to the success of your company’s systems, processes, and your employees’ wellbeing going forward. We are here to help you to navigate these unchartered waters and have compiled a list of trends and need-to-knows to help you prepare for the upcoming months.
While many have now settled into the idea of working from home, there will always be a need for the office. According to research, the office will once again become a haven for collaboration and creativity. More than ever, it is important to nurture your employees and create a positive environment for growth. Office space inspires a sense of community and collaboration and is the ideal platform for more strategic discussions. Many still enjoy the reprieve of the office and feel that it helps to separate their personal and professional lives. Going forward, we foresee employment contracts being renegotiated based on flexible terms and approximately 70-80% working from the office at select times, on select days.
Smart Healthy Buildings
Three decades ago, the average workspace ratio per person was approximately 25m2, this has drastically decreased over the years to just 10m2 to accommodate a larger workforce and cost savings. Now, in the current climate and under extraordinary circumstances, various safety measures are being put in place to comply with Covid-19 regulations and to ensure that employees, tenants, and building occupants feel comfortable going back to the office. Covid-19 has given rise to the term ‘smart healthy buildings’; here, technology, stringent health and safety measures, the reconfiguration of office spaces and social distancing is at the forefront of how we work and interact.
Beyond sanitation measures, hands-free control will change everything that we have come to know about our once traditional office spaces. Security access, the opening of doors, directing of elevators, lighting, air conditioners, vending machines, lowering of chairs and blinds, welcoming of guests, and even the ordering of coffee and various other amenities will all be handled remotely.
Yes, anything and everything will be controlled from our phones and in fact, a recent article suggests that new room sensor technology will assist with contact tracing in the workplace. Providing a real-time census on occupancy and location data will ensure that social distancing and occupancy rules are being followed.
In addition, landlords will work with their tenants to reconfigure office spaces based on exact requirements. At this early stage, research suggests that there are equal arguments between businesses needing less space to allow for flexibility, and more space to move towards fixed seating and appropriate spacing between its team members.
Our Current Reality
Companies are carefully reassessing their budgets and investment into capex will in most instances be put on hold for the short-term. While many are required to stay at home, the maintenance and upkeep of buildings remains critical. To help manage and reduce costs, many are looking to more energy-efficient solutions and are scheduling electricity use as needed.
Tenants and landlords are urged to work together to align with Covid-19 regulations and mitigate any risks.