As independent workplace experts, we have many ways to help you adapt to changing work patterns. We can quickly and efficiently get your people up and running, providing advice on risk mitigation, layout changes and space rationalisation. Importantly, we can help you cut through the wealth of vague and disparate online advice, ensuring you understand what you must do, what you should do, and what you could do as part of a longer-term space utilisation strategy.
What you must do
The UK Government’s roadmap out of lockdown suggests that stage 4 – when all lockdown restrictions are lifted – will occur on 21st June. The clock is now ticking; we can work back from that key date to infer what you should be doing now:
By end of March: Find out how your team want to work
Communication and sharing of ideas will help to encourage a ‘buy-in’ and enthusiasm to return. If you can’t involve the wider team at this stage, consider how you could enhance your space to make it more agile and attractive, allowing your people some choice about the work settings they use for particular tasks.
By mid-April: Undertake a workplace assessment
You will need to consider how to make your workplace safe for staff, and implement any changes, risk assessments, Health & Safety Policies and staff notices in good time. Bear in mind that order lead times for certain furniture, safety and signage products can be up to 8 weeks.
By mid-May: Complete your Health & Safety Documentation
Stay up to date with current Government advice. At time of writing this advice is based on working during lockdown, but it is likely to change as we move closer to normality. Start looking at ‘final touches’ (see below)
By mid-June: final touches
If you have followed this timetable, any layout changes, new furniture, signage and sanitation areas should already be delivered and installed. Now arrange a final clean and check for rodents or other infestation. Finally, set out those welcome touches like flowers and personalised mugs, to make your people feel good when they return.
Interion’s one-stop solution
You’re probably wondering about how to get this done, especially now when we’re still locked down. Don’t worry; Interion can help you! For a fixed fee of just 10p per sq.ft. gross internal area, our expert will visit and assess your workplace.
Interion will provide:
- A detailed compliance report including Risk Assessments and further recommendations.
- A detailed fully-priced schedule of items required to achieve compliance, broken down into the categories of essential items, recommended items, and enhancements.
- If required, for an additional fee, an updated detailed floorplan incorporating all changes and recommended circulation routes.
And should you entrust Interion with the supply and installation of the required items, we will refund any fees charged up to 10% of your order value.
What you should do
It’s not over – we all need to prepare for a different pattern of office work. There will almost certainly be a higher level of home-working than we have ever experienced before, meaning that people will come to the office specifically to collaborate with colleagues, rather than just to sit at a desk. Please click-through to our recent article for more information on what the experts think: The Future Workplace – What do all the experts agree upon?
And we need to plan now for a more resilient future. History demonstrates that global pandemics are happening more frequently than ever before. What will happen if Covid variants compromise the success of vaccinations, or another pandemic develops?
Interion’s one-stop solution
We’ve been helping our existing clients with these issues since March 2019, and we’ve developed a very good understanding of the general consensus regarding office space. We will assess your workspace and provide detailed layouts and recommendations incorporating agile work settings to help your people make their time at the office count.
For more information click through to our article: Agile working – What does it mean?
And we have gone much further… Through detailed research and by applying our own knowledge, we have developed a unique framework that can deliver safe working conditions even during another pandemic. This information is free for anyone to use; you can download the full article, visuals and a two-minute virtual reality walk-through by clicking through to this article: PRO – The pandemic-resistant office.
What you could do
The acceleration of ‘Agile Working’ in all its connotations presents opportunities for commercial office occupiers not only to work smarter and enhance future flexibility, but to reduce overheads. As a general guide, we anticipate that you could reduce your existing space by 30%.
- Rationalising existing space provides an opportunity to sub-let to others, offsetting costs to the end of your existing lease term.
- Rationalising now prepares you to understand exactly how much space you will need, before seeking alternative space at the end of your current term.
- Faced with a potential drop in demand, ‘traditional’ landlords will be developing more attractive and flexible lease packages for prospective tenants. Talk to them (and your existing landlord) well in advance of your next lease break to map out your best opportunities.
- Serviced-office providers are anticipating a growth in demand, but it will not be immediate because of existing lease term commitments. If you are interested in this approach, negotiate now for a future term, because the cost of serviced offices will almost certainly increase.
Interion’s one-stop help
We’re pretty agile ourselves! At very short notice, we were able to remove and store all a client’s furniture, enabling them to exercise a break and remove a significant overhead during lockdown. For many others, we have quickly installed screens, signage, sanitation and ergonomic home-office products to keep them working safely.
Here are some more ways we can help you:
- Space analysis, space requirement calculations and layout planning to determine your future needs. We can also quickly produce ‘test-fit’ layouts to determine how well a particular space may work for your business.
- Accurate budget development for both furniture and fit-out, enabling you to plan with confidence. (Utilising existing furniture where possible).
- We can put you in touch with the right people; those we ourselves trust to deliver consistently great service and value. We have a wide network of contacts in all relevant disciplines, including Property Agents, Serviced Office Providers, Designers, Project Managers, Fit-out experts and Contractors.
- Ethical disposal; we work with specialist partners to ensure that those old desks and PC’s are repurposed for use by charities, schools and the needy, at home and abroad.
We hope you find this article helpful in these challenging times. Our Mission is to be ‘The most trusted...’in everything we do. Trust is earned slowly and maintained only through consistent hard work, knowledge and application. We understand and apply this thinking to everything we do, including sharing information that we believe will benefit the wider working community.
So if you’re not sure what to do next, contact Interion, your one-stop partner to deliver effective working space at the lowest possible cost, now and in the future.