Return to the Workplace?
I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “The Post-Pandemic Office Should Be a Clubhouse”. The piece breaks down ‘return to work’ and highlights that as a society, we tend to associate ‘work’ with a ‘workplace’. Throughout the pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that people can and do sometimes thrive in work settings outside of the traditional office. For many companies, the office was previously a place to get head-down work done. Now? We’re seeing a shift where office spaces tend to serve as gathering spaces with socialization, interaction and group brainstorming. So, how does this shift impact what you need to do for facility services planning? I’ve highlighted a few areas you want to be sure to address below!
Make a Facility Services Forecast
If you aren’t doing so already, now is a great time to add in facility services to your annual planning! If your office space is shifting in 2022, or if a transition has already occurred, how does facility services need to shift to support that? For example, maybe individual cubicles no longer need trash emptied and desks sanitized daily, but your conference room that used to get weekly clean-ups now needs a heavy-duty scrub following team meetings twice per week! Thinking ahead for how the company’s needs may evolve allows your facility services plans to adapt along the way!
If you offer a flexible work environment, that’s great! We do at Cummins Facility Services (CFS), too. With the start of a new year, it is helpful to use this time to gather feedback on what to expect in the months ahead. This could be accomplished by an email for small teams, or a quick employee survey for larger groups to gauge what is ahead. Determine your team’s plans for in-office vs. remote work for the next three to four months, and repeat that process again later in the year! As we know, pandemic-related challenges can shift people’s comfort levels, so constant communication is key! Your facility services needs in January may be completely different by June.
Meet with Your Facility Services Professional(s)
You might have regular touch-base meetings with your marketing team, human resources director, and accounting manager, but do you regularly meet with your facility services professional? If not, now is the time to make that change! Oftentimes, our facility services teams are working when others are gone for the day, so they don’t necessarily see the interactions in certain spaces that would warrant a deeper clean.
If your building doesn’t have the latest smart technologies (don’t worry, most don’t!), there is no way for them to know how many people are coming in daily, weekly, and monthly and where they should anticipate supply needs. Invest the time in routine touch bases and facility walk-throughs to communicate changes to facility services team members.
Like virtually every other facet of our lives, the pandemic has dramatically shifted the workplace. With a little legwork throughout the year, you can save time and resources by auditing where your company needs facility services support. Being mindful of changes will also ensure that your office space continues to be the cleanest and most effective for your company. I’m excited to see what the year ahead brings to the workplace!