The ongoing pandemic has forced nearly every community into a government enforced lockdown, which means many businesses have had to close. Even after the threat has passed, returning to work may not be possible for everyone. Those who can go back to their regular shifts are concerned about what the workplace will look like, but there may not be cause for concern.
Don’t Expect Major Changes
If you work in an office setting, you may be expecting your employer to overhaul the workspace to create a safer environment. While desks and chairs will probably be rearranged to maximize social distancing, you shouldn’t expect large plexiglass partitions or a new addition to the building. These changes would require large investments that businesses in this uncertain climate just can’t risk. Instead, you should anticipate your office to maintain its general appearance with the addition of signs to notify employees and visitors alike of the new mask policies.
Some Changes You Can Expect
To say that there won’t be any changes would also be a mistake. Instead of seeing building features updated or remodeled, you should expect to see a few missing features. For example, any enclosed break areas may now be off limits. If office personnel are still allowed to use these areas, there will likely be a limit on how many people can occupy the room at one time. You may also see shared amenities removed, such as the refrigerator and coffee maker. Instead, you’ll likely have to buy more of your refreshments from vending machines. The water fountain may also be gone by the time you return to work.
Who Will Be Back?
While some co-workers will be back in the office, you shouldn’t expect to see everyone on your first day back. Some office employees may continue to work at home. Additionally, many employers will stagger the days employees work in the office to ensure everyone won’t be in the building at the same time. Remote work was growing in popularity before the Coronavirus, so you shouldn’t expect to see it vanish completely.
Existing businesses may not have the resources to redesign their operations. This may ultimately lead to a situation in which your work experience will depend on the financial health of the organization. Whether or not physical changes have been made to your office, you should expect your employers to enact new policies regarding health and safety.