Current global events are changing the way the world goes to work. For some, the office is now the dining room table or some other room at home that has been converted for new duties. For others, they are traveling to the office at some limited capacity with on and off days or limited hours, and for other small businesses, maybe the office is the same but sanitizing stations and mask reminders are prevalent.
It’s not surprising that work looks different, but how can we still feel connected within this new setting? It’s challenging for managers and employees to remain engaged.
Remote Work Challenges
While working from home may be the norm for some, for a lot of us, it’s been a very new experience. It may be exciting at first, but it is easy for employees to feel disengaged as time goes by. Productivity and motivation can suffer when employees are no longer engaged with in-person and peer contact. Zoom meetings and social contact become boring and capacity is limited.
So, while telecommunication methods can help, there is no real replacement for in-person meetings.
Redesigned Work Zones
If it is possible to go into the office, more than likely either the schedule or the environment looks different for the health and safety of everyone there. In some instances, panels can be used effectively to create barriers.
Maybe most effective are transparent partitions like these, so that body language and facial expression can still be visible to the other person. And, when one-on-one meetings are necessary, put your mask on but seclude yourself within sound-absorbing panels that also double as protection to other passersby.
If guests are allowed at the office, waiting areas should also make visitors feel comfortable. Back-to-back modular seating arrangements like this one:
or this one:
are great ways to create an inviting environment while still being respectful within the space.
Overall, face-to-face interaction is the best for employee engagement and mental health. With the lack of in-person meetings or normal face-to-face interactions, it is easy to misinterpret body language, expression, or tonality of emails. Not to mention that work start and stop times get blurred. According to an article by Forbes, job satisfaction and job motivation is falling fast.
Personal in-office interaction is still preferred by most remote workers surveyed. While working from home sounded like a perk for many before the pandemic, the work-life balance has been strained. The good news is there are safe ways to be in the office with others, feel connected, and keep productivity up.
Beaufurn is working hard to create elegant solutions that don’t compromise design and aesthetics.
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