Remember the good old days back in January when there was no lockdown in the USA and people still commuted to work every day? As we know, things look a bit different today and with the number continuing to rise on a national level there are some real concerns about the economy and what we call a workplace.
So, answering the question, “What’s the future of offices and meeting rooms?”, may seem unclear and if you operate a business or a business service it is a serious question. Is our traditional idea of work, offices, commuting, day job, meetings, and more changed forever?
Experts say no. Here’s why.
Offices & Meeting Rooms are Not Going Anywhere
It is true that many organizations completely abandoned their offices and in-office work back in March. When people began to work from home and large companies moved all of their operations outside of the office there was real fear that traditional office work would be dead forever.
But, the reality is that face to face meetings and central office locations will never be completely removed from the workspace. Even now at the height of the pandemic people are going back to work at their normal office location, albeit, at a typically staggered or reduced timeline.
For example, financial firms who moved all of their employees to remote working during the pandemic now have those same employees commuting back to their office 2 or 3 days a week. This is a major change from months past and shows companies desire to get people back to the office safely. The office isn’t dead, protocols have simply been enacted.
Now you wear a mask into the building and wear it anytime you are not at your desk. If someone is exposed to Covid-19 or tests positive the entire office stays home and gets their own tests, only returning to work following 2 or 3 negative tests over the course of a week or 10 days. So, the point to take away from this is that companies are returning employees to office locations with some new safety measure in place.
The businesses are not canceling building leases and are still trying to get people into the office safely.
Collaboration is Better in an Office Setting
There have been widespread reporting and internal studies to determine workers’ effectiveness from home. These studies have shown promising levels of productivity for individuals working remotely. But when it comes to collaborative tasks where employees must work together to accomplish a task, working together in an office room has proved more productive than when collaborating remotely.
Face to face meetings has proven time and time again their effectiveness when compared to remote collaborative work. This is one of the biggest reasons for businesses maintaining their buildings even when no one was going in to work.
Getting Back to the Office
Working remotely has proven a great tool that companies can turn to for the short term when need be for health concerns. But employees and businesses alike want to get back to work at the office and doing so requires some changes that previously did not exist. Here are some of the ways offices are re-imagining their office spaces.
Re-Imagining Office Spaces
The coronavirus has changed our lives in many ways and that includes how we design offices moving forwards. Some of the biggest changes include:
- Thermal temperature checking systems or manual temperature checks
- Creating more space between desks or cubicles
- Staggering employee schedules to reduce the number in the office at once
- Covid protocols in place for any positive test
- Providing lunch to employees so they don’t leave to get their own
- Creating larger meeting rooms
- Hand washing stations
- Free masks
- and more
Office managers have gotten creative in how they are keeping people safe at the office.
Video Conferencing Meeting Rooms
With people returning back to the office, office managers have put a large focus on creating larger office meeting rooms which have video conferencing available. This is the way of the near future in terms of office meetings. Some employees and staff in the office and other employees in a different room in the same office, or from home, or another location.
By focusing on meeting rooms set up for virtual connectivity, businesses can ensure safety while not losing any productivity.
But, you’ll want to be sure you have a high-speed internet communications provider, preferably with fiber-optics and VoIP. If you’re planning on web meetings, you’ll need reliable fast internet. That is a pre-requisite productive remote work and collaboration, a good internet connection. (See our article on What Makes a Fiber-Optic Connection Superior?)
You cannot expect employees to get anything done if their video conference keeps dropping. So be sure you have suitable internet infrastructure for this sort of video conferencing.
For the best in VOIP for Business Westchester NY, look no further than over 30 years of local expertise. We live where we operate and are proud members of the BCW (Business Council of Westchester) for 5 years. Call today and see how we can improve your business communications today. Stay safe from the entire team and we can get through this if we work together! 1-888-426-8647