Return To Work

Employee health and safety

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Thought Leader Forum: Employers guide to mental health during a pandemic

During a discussion on Aug. 13, the Puget Sound Business Journal spoke with a group of mental and public health experts about what this pandemic has meant for mental and behavioral health, and what employers can expect in the coming months and years. Monitoring a remote workforce, looking for ways to stay connected and engaged and reduce stress are primary areas of focus. It’s clear that this pandemic is a marathon and not a sprint. How is that affecting people’s mental and behavioral health, and what should employers be doing to help?

PSBJ

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The Revived Public Space

IA Interior Architects’ workplace strategists realized that conversations about how the visitor, tenant, and employee experience will change in the post-COVID-19 world only scratch the surface. Ultimately, what may work in some public-facing spaces may not work in others. Inspired by that challenge, IA partnered with landlords, developers, and others to create a holistic roadmap that re-imagines a safer, more comfortable, and healthier user experience in large, complex areas. With this group of tools, IA is able to offer landlords and large occupiers a new layer of assurance as they create and work through return strategies for their facilities.

IA Interior Architects

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Liability concerns to consider when reopening your business

The most important thing is to make sure your company is complying with safety regulations set by your industry as part of your reopening plan. Reopening plans should be put in writing, and should be in place well before a company reopens. This helps ensure employers are prepared for if and when a Covid case arises in the workplace and to minimize infection among co-workers and clients. Knowing that everyone who has returned to work has read and acknowledged the rules could help all employees feel a little safer.

PSBJ

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Managing Furniture For Adapting Workplaces

There is a lot to consider as employees begin to return to offices that will be different from the ones they occupied before COVID-19. These few tips can serve as a guide to help as you start to navigate this process. While plans and needs may differ depending on your company’s location, number of staff, and line of work, considering these recommendations can help you make temporary or more permanent decisions that will positively impact the comfort level and safety of your employees.

WorkDesign

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Taking the Office Outside

As employees begin returning to the office in parts of the world, organizations are implementing a wide range of measures to help create safe workplaces. Leading companies have been experimenting with outdoor work environments to increase employee engagement and improve attraction and retention, but now they’re even more important to help employees work from the office again. Here are some tips for designing outdoor workspaces that are safe, creative and compelling.

Steelcase

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How Do You Redefine and Create a New Rhythm of Life?

Workplace stress has a significant impact on health and productivity in normal times — but it has become a larger challenge in the current climate. Grounded in neuroscience research from Dr. John Medina as part of the NBBJ Fellowship Program, this post explores ideas on how to elevate workplace experience. Three of these concepts —Paths, Hubs and Nooks— provide people with opportunities to recharge and engage, promoting a new, more uplifting workday experience.

NBBJ

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Risk Management Plan for Buildings

A seven-step risk management plan is available to assist architects and clients when re-occupying buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the plan assists with assessing hazards, applying architectural or engineering strategies, and reducing risk. It uses an evidence-based design approach, documents design decisions, and functions as a repository for coordinated work with building owners. Follow the steps below and use the worksheets provided to develop and document the risk management plan. The plan should be regularly reviewed, updated, and documented through all stages of design, construction, and post-occupancy to ensure expectations are met.

AIA

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Designing Safe, Compelling Shared Spaces To Rekindle Our Love For The Office

After months of working from home, most people say they want to go back to the workplace in some way or another. Going forward the workplace has to be safe and, at the same time, it can not lose what makes it a compelling destination where people want to work. Designing high performing, inspiring and safe shared spaces will benefit both employees and organizations because these are the spaces that spur productivity and fuel innovation.

WorkDesign

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COVID-19 drives demand for flexibility and more meaningful office connections

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced many to work remotely, professionals see their relationship with the office changing after COVID-19. A survey of 1,000+ U.S. office workers discovered a workforce fully embracing the flexibility remote work offers and rethinking the value of going back to the office. That’s not to say people don’t plan to head back to the office. They do. Overwhelmingly, professionals view the office as a critical place to meaningfully connect with colleagues.

Hana

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Returning to the Office in the Time of COVID-19

The data says we won’t be at home forever. Explore the research about how workplaces and home offices will need to adapt in the future. Workers desire and leaders expect to return to the office. An ecosystem of places can provide people with more choices for where they work. Organizations are starting to consider adding alternative or satellite locations to offer more options. Changes will need to be made to the workplace and despite more people working from home, leaders expect their real estate footprint to increase or stay the same.

Steelcase

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The Future Workplace Will Embrace a Hybrid Reality

As a result of COVID-19, the workplace will be forever changed. We won’t step back in time, simply “returning” to our former offices. Instead, we will be moving forward to a new place. It might look similar in many ways, but it’s going to be modified in strategic ways, incorporating new practices, new protocols, and new technologies. So why do employees want to return to the office? Most people want the social connection of being with their peers. This all begs for a change in how office buildings and the workplace functions. What will the new hybrid workplace look like?

Gensler

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Returning to Our Offices. Slowly and Safely.

A downloadable guide on reopening procedures to ensure the safety of your employees, the Auth0 "Back to Office" plan ensures that when offices open up, employees have clear guidelines on re-entry. Offices have all been redesigned and reconfigured to accommodate social distancing guidelines and safety precautions to minimize risk as much as possible. In adopting our guidelines, we complied with local laws and organizations, such as WHO, and the CDC.

Auth0

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10 Renovations To Consider Before Reopening Your Office

This summer, as offices are starting to reopen across the country, many companies are considering all their options to make a safe and healthy return to work for employees. Regardless of whether your company is heading back into the office ASAP or still managing a remote workforce, there’s still time to make updates with no or little disruption to your return-to-work timeline. Here are 10 recommended office updates to support a healthy return to work.

WorkDesign

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The Case for Place and the Need to Get It Right

As economies begin to reopen, CEOs are starting to think about how work will change as a result of what we’ve experienced and learned. The ways we need to compete are different now and a return to business as usual is not what organizations and employees will need as we enter one of the most volatile and complex business climates in recent history. To succeed, organizations will need to be highly adaptable, and able to respond and adjust quickly to changing conditions now and in the future.
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Steelcase

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U.S. Work From Home Survey 2020

The dramatic shift toward working from home has crystallized the reasons why we come into the office. When asked about the most important reasons to come into the office, respondents overwhelmingly chose activities focused on people and community, including scheduled meetings, socializing, and face-to-face time. What we know now is that the overwhelming majority of people want to return to the office. New findings from the Gensler Research Institute can guide strategies on a successful return.

Gensler

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Reopening in a New Environment

Among the many challenges facing real estate owners and operators today, and perhaps the most relevant at the moment, is how building operations teams prepare to reopen properties, especially taking into account the complexity of higher density properties like office buildings and hotels. It is important to fully understand the complex relationships between building systems and develop a plan to proceed through the reopening process in an effective manner.

Marx|Okubo

Office utilization prior to vaccine or herd immunity

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The Role Of Workplace Analytics In Finding The Real Value Of The Office

There’s no question that the workplace will never quite be the same again, but workplace analytics demonstrate how the office impacts productivity, workforce effectiveness, and employee engagement. It is now possible to understand which aspects of the office contribute to goal achievement, collaboration and innovation, and which aspects are merely relics of the past. This article answers the following questions: In the future, how will EMPLOYEES utilize the workplace? How does LEADERSHIP want employees to utilize the space? How will the new workplace affect COLLABORATION? As we continue to collect information on the value of the office, leveraging analytics, it will be key to augment our instinct about how to improve the workplace and employee experience, wherever teams may be.

WorkDesign

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The Purpose of Place: Redefining the Future of Work

The shift in how we work requires different skills and behaviors, new corporate policies, willingness to learn and adapt work processes and the latest technology tools. There has been much written recently about how to return staff to the physical workplace and a reevaluation of the value of place is needed. To really understand how best to return to a physical workplace, a more strategic view, grounded in the mission, vision and values of an organization is necessary.

Work Design

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How Workplaces Will be Transformed

Much of what the next few months will bring is still unknown, but employers are beginning to consider what the return to the workplace will look like. Though some anticipate remote working arrangements to become standard, most organizations must create a plan for employees to return to office spaces—and make changes to their form and function to keep everyone safe. Here is what organizations and communicators must consider when reinventing their workplaces in response to COVID-19.

Ragan

Future of Workplace

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Together Again: The Future of Shared Spaces in the Office

Why do we miss the office? And will we still love it when we return? After months working apart, employees now say the main reason they want to come back to the office is to be with other people, socialize and collaborate in ways that just aren’t possible remotely. Now, these spaces that employees most enjoy must be adapted or created to not only enhance productivity but to ensure that the people using them can be safe and feel safe too.

Steelcase

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