Some countries have eased lockdown measures as governments are trying to improve the health of the economy, which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These countries have implemented guidelines for safe interactions in workplaces as lockdowns are eased, to ensure virus transmissions remain low in the community.
Tech giant Google, recently announced that it would reopen offices in July. Companies and regulators around the world are utilising innovative strategies to reopen workspaces while keeping their employees safe from possible community infections. A look at what they’re doing is a glimpse into our near future - a world of online conferences, staggered seating arrangements and contactless shields to be used when eating.
Remote Working: The New Normal
In Singapore, where lockdown or circuit breaker measures have eased, most companies only allow less than half of their employees into the office every day. Even then, masks must be worn at all times, and social distancing measures of 1m must be followed. It is encouraged for employees to work from home or telecommute whenever possible. Where there is a need to physically go back to offices, commuting during off-peak hours is highly recommended.
Following the trend of working from home, as is during the circuit breaker period, more companies and employees are choosing to work remotely or from home. Considering this reality, businesses that invest in infrastructure to support remote working, such as cloud software and collaboration tools, are likely to enjoy a smoother transition and overall higher productivity.
Cautious of how COVID-19 can spread quickly in close contact, companies have also implemented hefty precautions to prevent contact. When measures were eased, Korea released detailed instructions for workplaces to minimise contact. Workers are to keep two meters apart, sit in rows or zigzag at the cafeteria, or install transparent dividers between seats. They’re also to bring and use their own utensils. As minimising contact and reducing shared surfaces become a more permanent focus in offices, we are likely to see more adaptations of this nature. Door locks and entry passes are likely to be phased out and replaced with contactless access. Contactless access solutions for offices such as GTRIIP are gaining ground as a safer alternative, helping to reduce exposure to shared surfaces.
Socialising At Work
With social distancing measures becoming a permanent feature in workplaces, companies must devise safe ways for their employees to bond and communicate. Korean authorities are encouraging companies to adopt a culture that keeps physical distance while maintaining social connection. Korean businesses, known for their love of socialisation, will shift to minimise extracurricular activities, outings and happy hours, to allow employees to go home directly after work. As companies adapt to help employees socialise meaningfully from a safe distance, team-building activities and company dinners may migrate online; with a surge in corporate meal plans that deliver to private homes instead of offices.
Although seeing offices reopen in these countries is an encouraging sign of a return to normalcy, there has been a resurgence of cases in China, Korea and Egypt. Therefore, it is essential to be cautious about minimising transmission risk at every level of the organisation. The comprehensive precautions taken by these countries to protect employees are heartening to see but potentially challenging to implement.
As a leading mobile access solution for offices, GTRIIP is committed to navigating this new reality with our partners, and closely following updates in this space.
To learn more about how GTRIIP can reduce the risk of shared surfaces at the workplace, while enhancing security and productivity and if you’d like to see how GTRIIP can enhance your current workspace talk to us by reaching out to one of our consultants through this link: https://www.gtriip.com/consult-with-us/.