Anstice is back at the office for week two in this new normal as the city and the world slowly emerges from quarantine. Any thoughts of “going back to normal” even at the office, have been promptly dismissed as we learn to operate under different rules. Will the office or life ever seem like it’s back to normal? Probably not, at least not for a while, which is why we are embracing a new normal at home and at the office.
Many companies aren’t returning to their offices due to restrictions and personal choice. Even though it took a bit to get used to, many employees are finding working from home to be more productive, and a time and commute saver. At Anstice, we decided to open up the office as an option for our employees. We are encouraging them to find the right balance going forward between working from home and working from the office.
There is no right way to have staff return to the office, but we organized and planned a few weeks ahead to be ready for the day – and here we are. Here are some of the ways we have managed the transition back into the office.
Employee Office Schedule
To make the transition smooth and safe, we split the employees into optional Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday groups to limit the number of people in the office. People can request to come in on different days or times for meetings, but to keep everyone safe, half the number of people are in the office at one time, and at their option. If they are engaged in Deep Work, as all of our knowledge worker team need to do, they can work from home if that is where they can best focus.
Social Distant Desks and Workplaces
An open concept office seemed like a good idea pre-COVID, but has its own challenges now that we are here. With the limited number of people coming into the office, we have assigned desks in staggered patterns so that people sit at proper distancing, and we have a clean desk policy so that desks are cleaned nightly. Our meetings rooms have strict capacity limits to ensure proper distancing can be met.
One of the unused desks has become the sanitization station for when employees enter and leave the office. Meeting rooms are sanitized before and after use. Hand washing and sanitization signs are visible, and we supply the products to ensure the safety and health of our team.
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is the lack of socialization. At Anstice, we are going to keep all of the great practices we learned about productivity and focus while safely re-introducing the human connection we all crave.
Andrea Goertz, Chief Operating Officer