New Office Amenities in a Post-COVID Work Environment
It’s hard to identify an aspect of life that hasn't been affected by the recent pandemic. How we travel; how we socialize; how we shop; how we work – COVID has created major shifts in our day-to-day lives. For those who work in an office setting, we can all agree the day-to-day looks a lot different than it did before the pandemic. Especially in terms of workplace amenities. Amenities can enhance a work environment by engaging all employees, elevating a brand’s identity, creating emotional connections to the office space, and promoting wellness and agility in the way we work. Employers must explore a new generation of amenities and differentiators that will entice staff to return to the office. Today, we will focus on some of the amenities organizations can offer employees to make them feel safe, happy, healthy, and engaged
While advances in workplace technology have been a focus for organizations for decades, this has become a higher priority following the pandemic. Employees are turning to tech solutions to solve accessibility, logistic, and communication issues in the post-COVID world. Some amenities include:
Reliable Network Connectivity – Hybrid work environments are currently the new norm. To ensure staff has the tools and information they need, many organizations are reassessing their network connectivity requirements.
Conferencing Technology – One of the biggest changes to the work environment is how people meet. Companies are relying on virtual meeting platforms like Skype and Microsoft Teams more and more. To maintain the effectiveness of these platforms as an alternative to in-person meetings, companies are upgrading audio-visual and conferencing technologies.
Network Security – With many employees accessing corporate networks remotely, network security is required to mitigate increasingly common threats.
Physical Work Environment
With many COVID protocols easing across the country, many organizations are allowing employees to come back to the office. Changes to individual workspaces, common area amenities, and collaboration spaces are being utilized in the post-COVID environment:
Individual Workspaces – Many companies are employing a combination of in-office and alternative work environment options for employees. This can result in a decrease in required workspaces on a day-to-day basis. To solve proximity issues, these companies are able to implement alternating in-office work schedules to allow for proper social distancing.
Common Area Amenities – Some common area amenities include touchless door openers, soap dispensers, dryers, and faucets. In breakroom or food service areas, cashless payment solutions are available for grab-and-go food and drink offerings.
Collaboration Spaces – For those with decreased workspace requirements due to alternative work environment options offered to employees, creating additional informal and formal meeting spaces can be a viable solution for organizations looking to increase collaboration while maintaining proper social distancing.
Employee Health and Wellbeing
As a result of the pandemic, many companies have a renewed focus on employee health and wellbeing within the office environment. Some examples include:
Installing air quality monitoring and control systems
Increased disinfecting of common touchpoints
Promoting associate wellness programs
Offering healthy food and beverage options