Offices reopen: How to Recreate an Effective Office Environment
Today’s workforce is mobile and globally connected. Huddle videos, flexible schedules, merging timezones; offices these days have lots of ways to be effective. As a result, employees want to work from anywhere with any device and access their business apps anytime, anywhere. With the rise of telecommuting, remote working, and flexible work hours, many employees now have the opportunity to occasionally or even regularly work from home.
However, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is not as severe compared to last several months, offices and even schools are starting to open once again and conduct classes and company meetings and work physically or in-person. Seeing your colleagues and workmates on huddle video in your physical office has a good effect for your wellbeing, solidifies office culture, and optimizes innovation and collaboration among team members even more. Having said that, there are several things you need to know about bringing your team back together again in one physical location.
Here are the things in recreating an effective office environment can help you and your team succeed at work again while maintaining a healthy work life balance.
Establish Protocols Before Everyone Returns to The Office
You need to establish protocols that will help everyone find their footing in the office again. Start with an etiquette policy that addresses things like noise, interruptions, and the use of the common areas. You may also want to institute a few productivity rituals, such as a morning check-in, a mid-day stretch break, and a team journaling session. Help your team transition back into the office by communicating expectations and setting up protocols, like a change in meeting etiquette or an established protocol for the use of the break room. Try this popular huddle video for your hybrid and remote teams.
Also, you may need to add the vaccination card or the RTPCR test in the list of protocols and requirements before entering the office. In other countries, like the Philippines, several companies require their team members to be vaccinated and boosted or request them to take antigen tests to make sure that they are COVID-19 negative.
Plan Your Workspace
How will you use the space, and how does that impact productivity? Where will you sit, how will your team interact, where will you place your computer, and how will you manage all the cords? What is the best use of the space to foster connections, collaboration, and productivity? Will you put your desk against the wall or in the middle of the room? How will you arrange the furniture to promote privacy, collaboration, and functionality? Can you put your desk on wheels so that you can move it around? Will you manage the noise level with sound-absorbing materials, such as rugs, curtains, and cork boards especially for huddle videos? How will you optimize the light to best suit your work style? Your workspace should be a place where you feel inspired, productive, and connected to your team.
Bring The Tools You Need
You may need to bring some tools from home to make your job easier. This could include anything from a huddle video space, an ergonomic keyboard, noise-cancelling headphones, video conferencing camera, or even a standing desk. If you need tools to make your job easier, don’t be shy about asking your employer to provide them. If you rely on a certain software program or device that you can’t access at the office, be sure to communicate that to your manager so that you can get what you need.
Establish Collaboration Rituals
Are there rituals that foster collaboration? Does your team have an un-meeting? Does everyone gather in the kitchen for a daily stand-up meeting for a huddle video? Does your team have a journaling process? Journaling can help you gain insights, come up with new ideas, and process emotions. A journaling process can help your team members get their ideas out of their heads and onto paper so that they can be more productive. You can use journaling to track your progress, discover new insights, and enjoy the creative process.
Track Core Productivity Metrics
There are also some core productivity metrics that you can track to help make sure your team is thriving. These include things like time spent on tasks, the number of meetings, time spent collaborating, time spent on emails, and time spent on social media. You can also use a huddle video tool to track these metrics and get insight into your productivity. This can help you track your productivity and work towards being a more efficient employee.
Working from home can be a great way to save money, build more meaningful relationships, and increase productivity. Yet, working in a physical office with your workmates can be sometimes fun and sets you in a good condition to work and get things done. However, there are still things that you must be prepared with to take care of yourself and your team by implementing the right policies for huddle videos, creating a comfortable workspace, and tracking your progress.