Obviously, given the recent change in tier levels across the country, the number of workers travelling to the office will drop, causing frustration to landlords and asset managers as well as workers, who are keen to at least have the option of office-based work.
It is doubly frustrating as the government’s view that fewer people in the office equals less chance of infection is simple and based solely on office culture pre-pandemic.
Things have moved on from hazard tape and posters being the frontline of defence against Covid-19 in the workplace. The reality is that technology is readily available to make offices safe and help balance the tightrope between keeping the economy going and keeping people safe.
Workspace management technologies provide all the tools necessary to eliminate infection and maximise productivity. Providing users with a smartphone app that becomes an office remote control minimises the need for surface contact, whether to arrange parking, enter the building, use lifts, adjust lighting and AC controls or order food.
Moreover, the same app can offer sophisticated density management technology that automatically monitors which parts of a building are at capacity, assesses where space is free and keeps users updated in real time.
Of course, this is before we even begin to talk about mental wellbeing. Technologies that make offices not only safe but truly human-centric and give employees on-demand services, comfort and choice can have a positive impact for employees feeling isolated and frustrated working at home.
I concede it is a logistical challenge, but the government needs to assess each building on its merits. Clearly, those offices that have embraced Covid-safe technologies should remain open, keeping the economy moving, improving workers’ mental wellbeing and driving productivity during these difficult times.
Marley Fabisiewicz, co-founder of spaceOS