The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major shifts in the way we interact, the way we go about our day, and – most of all – the way we work.
These shifts have been a long time coming, but they’re shifts that would have happened naturally over the next 10 to 15 years rather than having been crunched down into just a few months.
So, is a hybrid working model here to stay? And if this approach to working life remains, will sanitizer dispensers be a long-term fixture in the workplace?
Shifting to a Hybrid Work Model for the Long-Term
Now, this isn’t to say that everyone with a laptop, internet connection, and the requisite tools to work from home can work from home. The transition to long-term working from home raises unavoidable questions for businesses large and small regarding the structure of their workforce and how they must work together.
The hybrid model may not work for companies that organized their original structure on the assumption of staff located in the same building with the ability to interact face to face. Not to mention – the average employee doesn’t want to live a life completely in a vacuum with no contact with other people.
But for the foreseeable future, a hybrid model of some work from home and some time in the office seems unavoidable. Companies must restructure their offices for coronavirus compliance. One such change includes the addition of dispenser units, whether automatic or pump-style, supply kits, enhanced disinfection measures and so much more. An entirely new system of facility management must be developed as various teammates rotate their schedules between home and the office while adhering to social distancing measures.
It’s thought, however, that – now that we know it can work efficiently – the hybrid work model will remain. In fact, the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that over 35% of US companies believe that up to 40% or more of today’s remote working arrangements are here to stay.
What We Can Learn from Big Tech
Big tech firms like Twitter, Facebook, and Google are embracing remote work.
Twitter told employees they can work at home permanently if they desire. Google and Facebook followed suit – with somewhat different requirements, however. Both tech companies are offering at-home working arrangements through June and July of 2021, respectively. The economics department of a Chicago university predicted 37% of jobs in the United States could be performed at home – the coronavirus outbreak merely accelerated the shift, forcing the workforce and its custodians to adopt new tech and alter their views of work and office life.
An Experiment in Skepticism
The world was forced into a work-at-home experiment when the pandemic caused local governments to issue shelter-in-place orders. What the majority were skeptical about at first glance – the ability of the workforce to contribute meaningfully from home – has proven a viable option.
It has been considered a taboo subject to request a work-from-home arrangement, regardless of circumstances. Perhaps the global shift to a hybrid model has instilled confidence that many jobs can be performed – and productively – from wherever employees feel comfortable. It’s also taught us that the various digital tech tools that have been created just for these scenarios actually work.
Basic Prevention Measures in the Workplace
When employees do return to the office there are many protocols that will have changed. These include:
- Enhanced cleaning procedures – this can include such items as sanitation dispensers. Dispensers should not require touch for usage and should be placed everywhere touchpoints are present.
- Personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette requirements
- Better air circulation infrastructure, including air purification systems
- Voice-activated technology for applicable touchpoints
- Different furniture styles and room layouts
When more people return to in-office settings, these environments must be as safe as possible. New habits must be formed and tools created to assist with adaptation. These early changes will lead to long-term, doable strategies that will continue their impact long after the pandemic has passed.
Our goal is to help you re-design your evolving office needs with flexibility and adaptability. Our thoughtfully designed furniture and tools, like the Sanitation Station sanitizer dispenser, help you accommodate today’s best practices and adapt for future changes. We offer two-year warranties on all our units and we won’t lock you into a specific refill cartridge – you can use any type of sanitizer you choose.
Our Working Lives Going Forward
The traditional office setting may never fully disappear, but we might not spend as much time there physically. Companies may still have alterations to make to ensure at-home work culture matches in-office culture. At-home employees will still want – and need – to feel as though they’re part of the team. And be viewed as such by their in-office counterparts.
And to be honest, the working future has always been heading towards this. The pandemic merely hastened the pace – condensing into a few short months something that would have called for more than a decade. But this is a good thing. It’s forced us all to meet a challenge we didn’t know we were facing. And we’ve met it head on.