Published on: 30 June 2020

Updated on: 15 December 2023

Read time: 4 minutes

Cyril Parsons

Managing Director

Although we're not quite there yet, talk is now turning to a return to the office for many workers across the UK.

While the economy champs at the bit to reopen, the Government is currently preparing guidance for when lockdown easing occurs. This involves drawing up what is being described as workplace by workplace guidance by the business department.

Such a forensic approach indicates the level of detail and focus which is required to safely open UK office spaces in a manner which will provide all staff with reassurance and peace of mind.

Workplace environments will need to meet good health and hygiene requirements and have measures ready in place to minimise the risk of infection. Employers will also have to help employees over the mental block which has attached itself to going into any shared space for all of us.

There has been a wide-spread, concerted effort to maintain team spirit by most companies during this period of working remotely. These efforts will have to be matched and renewed when it comes to managing the return to work to ensure minimum disruption and to alleviate any feelings of panic.

The reality is, many of us will likely have some fears and reservations to overcome as we go back to normal. It's to be expected.

Planning ahead

Our team has been looking into the probable effect that Coronavirus will have on the office going forward and how the environment might change to accommodate the return to work.

It may be that some companies place a limit on how many workers come in on any given day, while others will likely continue to give staff the option to work from home. However, there will have to be some practical changes made for those who are re-entering the office space in the coming weeks and months.

There may well be official guidelines to suggest that workers sit a certain distance apart. Certainly, team members will feel safer if there is some social distancing in place, in the first instance.

Cleaning protocols are also likely to change from office to office and this will need to be anticipated in terms of tools and products required, along with training for auxiliary and external workers who carry out the cleaning activities.

From cleaning to de-densifying work stations, careful planning will be required so that the environment is prepped and ready for the doors to open.

Taking time to refresh

While your office is empty and you are planning this return, it's worth considering taking the opportunity to fully refresh the environment. This will ensure that workers are welcomed and inspired by a new, reinvigorated space on their return.

We are currently offering an office renew programme of services which includes office refreshment, sanitisation and cleaning. This fast-track programme also covers painting, re-carpeting and any small works and maintenance.

For further information on our Office Renew programme, drop us a line or give us a call. We are happy to give you our time and advice, without any obligation, to help you manage the return to work.

We are also currently supplying a range of items, including face masks, hand sanitiser and foot operated sanitising stations, to help stop infection spreading in the workplace. Office Principles is donating to the NHS Charities Together for every box of goods ordered.

Meet the Author

Cyril Parsons

Managing Director

A founding partner of Office Principles, Cyril has over 30 years’ experience in workplace design and has been instrumental in the success of the business and its positioning as a leading workplace consultancy. An author of white papers and a renowned industry speaker, who regularly hosts his own popular seminars and webinars, thought leader Cyril’s book on office relocation and fit out, The Black Book, is currently on its fourth edition.

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