Are you considering your office strategy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? With more staff blending working from home with reduced office commuting, perhaps you need to make better use of smaller, localised office spaces. Your teams may never all be in the office together, instead they may rotate in smaller groups, so these new spaces will not need to be as large. Here we can advise on schedules of condition for these new spaces & schedules of dilapidation as you vacate larger, more central offices.
Our own research indicates we regularly achieve savings of more than three times our professional services fee, when negotiating a schedule of dilapidation claim.
What might these new offices look like after lockdown? Dubbed the ‘6 foot office’ your employees first day back might look like this;
Individuals stand on a green dots, 6 feet away from each other as they wait their turn for the lift. Only two employees are allowed in a lift at a time. Staff walk clockwise to reception and grab a recycled paper mat to cover their desk for the day. There is noticeably more space as people follow the marked route through the office – old filing cabinets & furniture has been removed to avoid clutter.
Employees place their own keyboard, mouse, and laptop on their desks, noticing the tag that confirms the desk was cleaned last night. Nearby there are marks on the floor indicating how close their colleagues should stand if they fancy coming over for a chat. There is a specific route to the bathroom designed to avoid bumping into other workers.
The idea of reduced office density is likely to be the most pressing until a vaccine to COVID-19 becomes available. Employees will only come back to the office if they feel safe and even then the commute might still be a problem for some. Well thought out seating plans, movement flows & COVID-19 safe equipment specifications will all need careful consideration.
The new satellite, mini- office will need to be designed differently with wider staircases and corridors. Open spaces such as roof gardens will become a priority. Similarly, air conditioning will have to be redesigned, so that instead of recirculated air, employees are constantly provided with a fresh environment. Automation will feature heavily with motion sensors, facial recognition and remote controls for numerous pieces of office equipment, perhaps all controlled via your own office app?
Many of these changes have been thought about for years but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their progress. Whether it is at home, in a physical office, or within in-between spaces that might emerge, workers will soon be carrying out their jobs in radically different ways and we can help you plan and prepare for this.