Return to The Office - What to Expect.

Thousands of people are expected to return to the workplace next week in the UK after months of working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the vaccine being rolled out across the UK there will be many offices in tier 1 & 2 slowly opening up to employees. A recent study from the BBC reported that 2 out of 3 people working from home during the pandemic are longing for a return to the office.

Here are some of the major changes you will expect to see upon the return.

Virtual Queuing Systems
For those employees working in large offices, one of the first major differences will be the use of virtual queuing systems. Employees will have set times to enter and leave the building to ensure that entrances are not overcrowded. These systems have already been installed in major supermarkets and retail stores, the next step will be for implementation in major office buildings in the UK. Other small buildings will use of a traffic light system to help regulate the number of people inside the building and in common areas.

Touchless Technology
In order to ensure the ease of entrance to buildings there will now be video cameras with facial recognition technology. Other noticeable additions will be voice activated elevators and office technology such as lighting and heating. Other major companies might install temperature readers on entrances to ensure employees with a high fever are not able to enter.

Antimicrobial Surfaces
Other noticeable measures upon the return to work will be that all shared touch points will contain antimicrobial technology. These are used to help eradicate bacteria and viruses within minutes of contact. Marc Carey from SDA Cleanzone “Silver-ion technology is proven to eradicate common bacteria and viruses so we are pleased businesses and large companies are using it throughout the offices.
We envisage all shared touch points in the future to contain continuous cleaning technology, this will be part of the new normal. The idea is that using antimicrobial technology alongside a regular cleaning protocol will create a safer environment for everyone. We believe the virus is not going away anytime soon so we need to interrupt transmission as much as possible.”

Flexible Work Times
Many companies will try to offer more flexibility to start and end times for employees. Whilst working from home has been a relative easy transition, many will want to return to work as soon as possible. Many employers will be expected to allow additional flexibility including set days for remote working.
Removal of Open Plan Design
For years, many offices around the UK were being used in an open plan design, however this will change. There will now be clear partitions between colleagues to offer additional protection, these should be temporary depending on the outbreak level.