A new look of the office? How will the virus change the workplace?
As many students return to school in September, many people return to work. The period of quarantine, home office, holidays and summer activities ends and it is necessary to "get back" to work mode again. However, returning to the office can be surprising. The world has changed in the last 6 months, and with it the ordinary office as well.
All sorts of regulations, whether from the government or the high management, must be followed and the office will most likely not return to its original form.
The employer has a duty to create a safe working environment and secure working conditions. It must arrange for appropriate occupational safety organization and risk prevention measures. Renowned Czech immunologist Mr. Zadražil says: “In the office there is a desk, a laptop, phones that we attach to our faces, handles that everyone reaches for. There are many options for infection and protective equipment and measures must not be underestimated by the employer. "
Companies will continue to take a number of steps to keep people at a safe distance from each other, such as alternating shifts or a new work schedule for many employees on alternative days and weekends. The typical office boxes and their walls are very likely to rise or move away so that not everyone is in such close contact.
Kitchens, conference rooms and other common areas may remain closed. Even some companies have introduced one-way paths led by arrows in ther offices that prevent people from walking through the building. Necessary shared spaces, such as elevators and bathrooms, will require face covering and usage of hand sanitizer at entry. There will be also more frequent cleaning or disinfection of the premises, or a limited number of people in common areas.
Despite these distance measures, we can assume that the order to wear face-masks will be still relevant not only in common areas, but also at your own desk. Your company will also likely ask for a sworn statement or non-infection paper an also for notification in case you would have any symptoms. If the employer suspects a possible Covid-19 virus infection of his employee, he may ask him to report himself to the appropriate hygiene station by telephone. Then it decides on its quarantine or testing. Nevertheless, the employer cannot force the employee to perform the test.
However, the specific arrangements in your office will differ depending on the company and local regulations. For example, in the final phase of the reopening of New York State, office capacity is limited to 50%. The remaining half of the employees have the opportunity to work at the home-office, in the evenings or on weekends.
In the Czech Republic, many companies have decided to recommend a home-office to their employees in order to avoid the accumulation of a large number of people. Nonetheles, it is still a question of how the measures will continue.
We at LIGS adhere to the measures of larger distance between individual tables, disinfection of hands when entering the office, possible home-office for every employee who feels sick and in case of traveling abroad, everyone has ordered a two-week quarantine in case of infection.
Do you have experience with a new arrangement in your job? Or don't you feel the difference? Let us know your own experience with changes in your office due to COVID-19.
Polášková, M. (2020, March 20). Práce v době koronavirové: Co je potřeba vědět. Welcome to the Jungle. https://www.welcometothejungle.com/cs/articles/koronavirus-jak-se-chranit
Mazúchová, S. (2020, April 26). Koronavirus změní open space kanceláře. Pomoci mohou zóny, šipky i UV záření. IDNES.Cz. https://www.idnes.cz/ekonomika/domaci/kancelare-open-space-home-office-dezinfekce-socialni-distancovani-rozestupy.A200423_141558_ekonomika_maz