• Brad Gibbon

Understand Your Safer Space Options in 6 Questions


These 6 questions are intended to ground your thoughts when thinking about how you can adjust your office space so that employees can return to work safely. Every situation will be different and carry with them unique challenges. But by sticking to a process and using the right tools, you can successfully and safely return to work.

How much time is left on your current lease?

How much effort and capital you should invest into changing your office can depend on how much more time you have left on your lease. Why spend 3 months reformatting the space when you have a year left? Often during lease negotiations, you will be able to share the cost of improvements with your landlord, so waiting to do this until renewal may save your company a substantial amount. On the other hand, if you are going to occupy the space for 4 years, then you want to make sure those years are optimized.

How many employees do you need to return?

How flexible are your operations? Will you need a set team # or can you work with the constraints of the office? Being more flexible will keep costs low, but flexibility may lead to inefficiency. This will depend on your specific business needs and operations.

How do you want those employees to return to work?

If you need everyone back at work, then you need to act now. Due to increased safety requirements, you will find that you need to lease or sub-lease additional space. In order to know how much space, you’ll first need to analyze your current layout using new safety standards. This step normally takes a lot of time (but not with FastOffice). However, if you are planning on a slow return to work for a fraction of your employees, then you will probably have enough space. You still want to reformat your office, but can do so as you ramp up attendance.

How have your office resource needs changed?

It’s important to take stock of your office’s assets and determine if they are still relevant. Everyone wanted a large boardroom for client meetings, and open, free access to workstations was all the rage. Right now though, will employees feel comfortable in these environments? If you have these in your office, there are ways to re-purpose them in the short term. Conference rooms could become makeshift offices. Workstations can be assigned to employees. By doing this, you can maintain your space utilization while ensuring high levels of safety.

What is your budget for changes?

At the end of the day, if you have no budget, then you have fewer options. Physically changing the space by buying new furniture or building walls will cost money. There are still many ways to make your office safer on a low budget though. You can use tape and name cards to create safer walking paths and assigned desks in an office. Especially in this difficult economic time, finding ways to cut costs will ensure that your business remains operational.

How is remote work working?

This is harder to quantify. We recommend you hold meetings to understand how your employees are feeling about their new working situation. Are employees as efficient as they were in the office? Do you operate in a high collaborative environment that requires many team meetings? Do they enjoy working from home, or do they miss the social aspects of the office? The answers to these questions will in part determine if and how you should adjust your space.

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