Re-Thinking America’s Office Environment
Prior to the crisis produced by COVID-19, working remotely had increased 44% over the past five years and 91% over the past ten years. Clearly, remote work has been trending significantly upward for quite some time, and for good reason. Although several factors combine to make working from home attractive, the common refrain is flexibility. Many employees thrive when given more freedom to choose working hours and location. Benefits to employers include increased morale and productivity in their workforce, even for just partial remote work options.
Now, the arrival of COVID-19 has produced wide-reaching changes in American working life, necessitating remote work even for businesses that had not previously explored the option. Suddenly – literally overnight in many cases – employees who “went to the office” each day joined the ranks of those who work from home. In many cases, this change could be accommodated with some simple adjustments, such as videoconferencing instead of face-to-face meetings.
However, as we look to emerge from coronavirus-induced restrictions over the next several weeks and months, employers are now not only considering how to promote more effective remote working protocols, but also how to re-think the office environment to promote the health and well-being of their employees. Such considerations will include ensuring adequate spacing requirements, considering the impact of open plan designs, and air quality management, to name a few.
Read this insightful article for suggestions as you consider the future of your office environment: FULL ARTICLE