Well, 2020 has been an interesting year for all of us. Of course, we do not mean to denigrate those who have had a very difficult time of it this year. Not all businesses will have or will make it through Covid-19 and its associated lockdowns. However, even businesses that manage to make it through will also need to curate their approach and make sure they are geared for action in the best possible sense.
This includes considering how to move forward into 2021 with care and attention. If you’re able to make the most of this possibility, you can really get the ball rolling before it needs to be scored. This means preparing your office for the next year, a space that we may all start to tentatively return to as our wish for normality resumes. As far as that’s concerned, approaching your best intention can make a massive, positive difference.
So, let’s consider some practical steps. In our relatively lengthy guide, we hope to knock out a range of worthwhile tidbits to help you, and your business, greet the new year:
Invest In Reliable Equipment
Investing in reliable equipment is perhaps one of the most important measures you can take to hit the ground running. For instance, WilsonPro cell phone signal boosters can be purchased to help ensure cell phone reception within your corporate building and offices, the materials of which are known to often stifle this kind of reception and can make easy, free-flowing communication difficult to handle. This is the kind of equipment and upgrade that can help an office shine, and it will provide a renewed, upgraded functionality for your employees.
Reliable equipment could also mean purchasing a new printer and fax machine for the office, considering an air filter (particularly when ventilation is so important after Covid and since open windows are rarely a good idea in the midst of winter). The more you can invest in reliable equipment, the better that equipment serves you, and the more utility you have in your professional space. That’s a great place to start. We would recommend writing an inventory of your equipment you need to upgrade, the equipment that needs maintenance or refurbishing, and then the equipment that can be replaced using comparison tools.
Now can be a great time to reconsider the services you wish to use for your office upkeep. For instance, cleaning services might be changed to deep cleaning services, regular carpet cleaning, intense bathroom cleaning, and professionals trained to clean Covid hotspots around the environment.
You may decide to opt for alternate, remote services to help you provide a functionality you may wish to draw back on for the time being. For instance, you might ask your suppliers to send printed merchandise with your logo directly rather than storing these items in your warehouse, providing one less hub point to increase safety.
Since many of us have been away from the office for some time, this effort could also include upgrading your digital functionalities. It could be that gigabit fibre has since rolled out in your area, and you believe it’s a good time to upgrade and ensure your staff have the lightning-quick internet access speeds they have been missing. Now can be a good time to review your services, the plans you may be subscribed to, and what you pay for those services. It can’t hurt to shop around from time to time, and with this effort, you are likely to agree.
Implement Covid Measures
Implement worthwhile and reliable Covid-preventative measures. Bringing people back to the office in two months can seem exciting, but there’s nothing that suggests this problem will be nicely wrapped up and done with by then.
For that reason, investing in protections can be important. You may begin with plexiglass divider shields to help break up the space between two desks. You may ensure regular cleaning habits with on-call cleaners or visitation every lunchtime to tend to the washroom in full. You may just ensure masks and hand gel are around so that your staff can easily have this no matter if they have brought their own, or not. You may even stagger who is allowed in the office and where they sit this time.
Implement Covid measures that make sense, and invest in the long haul. It’s better to be safe than be sorry, because of course, none of us have been able to predict it – and the last thing you need is this virus sweeping through your office.
Covid aside, deep cleaning is a fantastic investment for many offices. Ensuring the carpet is deeply cleaned, that your upholstery is well maintained, that your storage areas are tidied and fire safety is catered for is not a question of good sense, it’s a question of fundamental sense.
Deep cleaning can provide our businesses with a refreshed, repurposed aesthetic. With window cleaning, it can also help you let in more sunlight which is important as the winter comes to a close and spring starts to draw in. Deep cleaning can help people take renewed pride over their desks, see your office in its full glory, and ultimately feel happier and more capable of coming back to work. Remember that staff morale, especially after the dumpster fire of 2020, is definitely going to be a factor in how easily your employees adapt and feel grateful to be back and in full action. Furthermore, it might be that regular deep cleans are the new norm, and a way to exercise your best peace of mind in this space. Don’t discount that, you can make a lot of people happy for the effort.
Sell & Replace Furniture If Necessary
Furniture is an important part of staying ergonomic, alert, and healthy at work. It could be that 2021 is a good time to reinvest in your office furniture, be that selling off your current old chairs and desks in a job lot sale and then purchasing newer items second hand. After this whirlwind of a year doing what you can to reinvest in the health of your employees could be a worthwhile use of your time.
Furthermore, this compounds our point about refurbishing and refining your office for the return of your staff. If you have made a concerted effort to give the place a new aesthetic, and a new sense of motivation through a fresh start, odds are you will hit the ground running and your staff morale will be as high as it’s ever been.
Consider Office Desk Setup
Considering the layout of your offices and curating your desk setup is a good idea. Compacting people together is not a great idea as of the moment, and so a few precautionary measures are needed. To start with, spreading people over more space can be important. Offering communal areas (perhaps by retrofitting a meeting room) to only a few people at a time is also worthwhile.
It might be that you stagger the seating positions in your kitchen and dining area, giving your staff more places to sit and eat without being too close to one another. The aforementioned shields can serve as dividers between workspaces, which can be a nice place to start. Don’t forget that your office setup provides the navigable space of the room, ensures good air flow, and can slow the transmission of a virus or simply give you a seating plan to understand when to call people back, and in what numbers you should do so.
Tidy Up The Exterior
Appearance isn’t everything, but it does mean quite a lot. Tidying up the exterior of your property is important, then. This can be a simple measure, such as removing some of the overgrown hedges by trimming it, especially if it’s covering your branded sign leading into the parking area. Sweeping the leaves and having your parking space lines repainted can also be a good use of your time.
The exterior is the first impression any staff member will be greeted with when once again driving into your office, and so it can pay to make sure this space is open, welcoming, and worth their time. Little measures like this can truly make the biggest difference going forward, as they add up into a greater, rejuvenating whole.
Recalibrate The Staff & Locker Rooms
Staff areas and locker areas are worth cleaning and calibrating again. This might mean providing a new set of temporary pegs to hang up rucksacks and more, or security dividers for people to store their items, or even a minifridge and cleaning equipment to ensure your staff have more places to store their lunches during the day.
Recalibrating staff and locker rooms will ensure that they work for the office of 2021, with all the precautions, standards and utilities we are used to. A little investment in staff health can make all the difference.
With this advice, you’re sure to gear your office in the best possible manner for 2020 and beyond. We wish you good luck when moving into the new year.