Office Rightsizing: How work post-pandemic will change

Office rightsizing offers safety for businesses hoping to resume operations

Photo courtesy: Flickr.

As companies prepare to welcome employees back post-pandemic, more and more offices are making adjustments to their workspace. In order to keep their employees safe, offices are “rightsizing” – making modifications that meet social distancing measurements and keep workers safe and comfortable.

The New York Times wrote about the changing office landscape post-pandemic. They are predicting expanded gathering spaces to ensure everyone is properly distanced, as well as fewer personal workstations due to the success of working from home.

These new arrangements can mean that companies will need less space in the future, leading some companies to cut back on their real estate. Target, based in Minneapolis, plans to give up some office space. In September 2020, REI sold its headquarter office in Bellevue, Washington.

Companies like Google, Microsoft and Walmart have already announced their plans for “hybrid” work models with flexible schedules, so employees can choose to work at home a few days per week.

In other companies, gone are the days of permanent desks with family photos and knickknacks. Many companies are replacing them by “hoteling” workstations, also called hot desks, which are used by anyone who needs a workstation.

Many companies are implementing smaller changes, too. From spacing out desks to installing plastic barriers to reduce face-to-face interaction, the solutions had to be creative and ensure safety.

What Is Rightsizing?

Photo: Flickr.

Across all industries, workplaces are being reimagined. Transitioning employees from work from home setups back into the office can be challenging for some companies, especially those with small workspaces.

Rightsizing works by taking a look at your office space, making a design plan to meet social distancing guidelines and reduce risk, then setting up the office in a way that continues to ensure employee health while being productive.

Offices are no longer a one-size-fits-all investment. Depending on the size of your team, what they do, and how they work, your needs can vastly differ from the next company.

What Rightsizing Looks Like

Depending on your business, rightsizing will look different. Company size, number of employees, team structure and how big or small your office space will all change your approach to rightsizing.

  1. Hire a professional moving company to help you. This is the best way to redesign your office – many moving companies can offer an all-in-one service.
  2. Consider your space and inventory your items. Are there spaces in your office with high traffic? Spaces you don’t use? Consider using those spaces in a new way, like moving desks further apart or repurposing communal spaces like conference rooms to hold less people at a social distance.
  3. Design a floor plan. This gives you a visual roadmap of how your office will look and how you will use the furniture you currently have.
  4. Store unused furniture. By hiring a moving company, storing any unused furniture, and moving the rest of your office furniture will be a breeze.
  5. Create a return-to-work action plan. Creating a plan can answer any questions employees may have.

How a professional moving company can help you rightsize your business

Photo: Flickr.

Sometimes, some things are best left to the experts. When it comes to rightsizing, moving companies are expertly equipped to handle offices of all sizes.

Form a plan

The first step in the rightsizing process is coming up with a plan for your space. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to making your office space suited for social distancing, so a moving coordinator or planner will visit your space – in-person or virtually – and assess the scope of the project. This helps to eliminate inefficiency and streamline the reorganizing or redesign process.

Rightsize your office

The second step is the most crucial – the rightsizing of your office. Professional movers will come to your space, pack and move things according to the plan that has been set in place.

Movers are experts at what they do, so they know how to rightsize your office quickly and efficiently in such a way that will lead to minimal downtime for your business.

Additional Services

Once your office is rightsized, there may still be more to do. If you need additional services like hanging artwork, packing services or storage for any extra furniture, the moving company you hire can do that for you.

What Can You Do for Your Employees

Local health departments have studied the pandemic and implemented requirements for employers to make their workspaces healthier for businesses, including:

  1. Minimize the number of employees working close together. Employee workstations should be at least 6 feet apart.
  2. Rethink large meetings. Zoom meetings have dominated work schedules during the pandemic, and coming out of the pandemic, holding large meetings and conferences online or over the phone is a surefire way to keep everyone safe and healthy.
  3. Consider hybrid schedules. If you have a large team of employees, staggering their schedules will reduce the number of people in an office at one time.
  4. Implement flexible sick leave policies. Now, more than ever, people are weary of working while ill. With a more flexible policy, employees should be able to stay home when sick without having to go to the doctor’s office for a note.
  5. Are face masks here to stay? They sure are on the airlines, but consider your office, especially during cold and flu season.

When it comes to staying safe in a post-pandemic world, there are no perfect solutions. Remaining adaptable, flexible, and willing to compromise with your employees will be key in reopening your business.