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Today’s employers are facing an interesting challenge: Many teams and new hires don’t want to come back to the office. Between the year spent perfecting home offices and the continued viral risk and safety concerns, many people feel that it’s both safer and more comfortable to continue working from home.

However, many jobs are still better and more safely done in the office and most businesses have invested both revenue and infrastructure in their custom office space for team productivity. What will it take to get remote employees eager and willing to come back to the office? While many brands are going all-out with in-office perks, what really matters can be refined into a few considerate and well-thought upgrades to make office space both welcoming and safer for returning teams.

1. Wall-Mounted CO2 Monitors in Shared Spaces

The single biggest concern in returning to the office is the shared workspace. With COVID mutating as every coronavirus does, we won’t see the end of viral care any time soon. Instead, it’s time to take a wholesale approach to make sure everyone is safe. While you’re upgrading your HVAC, air filtration, and room-to-room airflow, it’s also important to monitor CO2 buildup in rooms shared by more than one person.

Why? While CO2 is not virus-carrying, it is a good way to measure concentrated exhalations. The less CO2 in the air, the better the airflow must be. Many are carrying personal CO2 monitors to work or school. Instead, show you care (and prove your safe-workspace results) by mounting large-font digital CO2 readers in shared spaces where everyone can see the air is clear and moving.

2. Personal Work-Spacing Design

Gone are the days of “cube farms” where employees are packed tightly together with non-air-tight dividers in between. Gone are the ‘pools’ of desks arranged in the closest possible floorplan. Instead, we need about 10 square feet per desk which means a whole new approach to personal workspace design.

Dividers, ventilated pods, and more widely spaced open floorplans are the new name of the game. This is also your company’s opportunity to use the broader desk design to make a more aesthetic space with great traffic flow and a real sense of personal space at each workstation.

3. Digital Signage for Booking & Cleaning Conference Rooms

Digital signage is a trend that has seen a meteoric rise in the last year, and not just because it’s nifty. Digital signage uses tablets and screens mounted on walls (and other surfaces) to display dynamic information. For conference rooms, digital signage is used to schedule the space, indicate when the space is booked, and also to help ensure each room is thoroughly cleaned between uses.

Conference rooms are often used as private spaces, for team meetings, and of course to meet clients. By upgrading each conference and enclosed office space with digital signage, you make it more dynamically ergonomic, welcoming, and virally safe at the same time.

4. Supportive Health Insurance

Consider upgrading your health plan. When employees know they will be taken care of on the off-chance that they get sick from any cause, they are more likely to brave spaces outside the home. Whether you want your team in the office or working in the field, a great healthcare plan and generous illness policies will provide the protection and incentive your team neads to consider less remote work.

5. Greater Use of Natural Light

Believe it or not, natural light has become a major selling point for going back to the office – if you make it available. Many people prefer their sunny home office to a dim interior space in an office building. But there are also millions whose homes aren’t well-situated for uplifting natural light during the day.

Make those big beautiful picture windows a selling point for the return of your team by optimizing natural light in your workspaces. Re-prioritize office access and workspaces for sunny areas of your office and push storage toward those dim interior spaces.

6. Automated Sanitization Technology

Last but not least, make it easy – even automated – for your team to keep themselves and the space sanitized. Provide dispensers for sanitizer (and hand lotion, sanitizer is drying) at accessible intervals around your office. Provide dispensers of alcohol wipes at every workstation, lobby, and conference room. Then look into automated sanitization like anti-microbial railings and coatings and even sanitizing misters in key locations to keep your office not just clean, but high-tech clean.

Is your team hesitant to come back to the office? With these upgrades, your business can make your workspaces more appealing, productive, uplifting, and feature high-tech viral safety. Anyone who hasn’t fallen fully in love with their home office will be happy to come back when the office is welcoming and provably safe to return to. Contact us for more insights on remote work and the hybrid transition.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not insurance, tax, legal, business, or other advice. For specific insurance questions related to you or your business, please contact our office.