At the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders around the country were faced with the task of transforming their office spaces into a safe and healthy workplace for their staffs. At first it was a dizzying blur of ordering personal protection equipment, creating office sanitization procedures, and reimagining workspace layouts that would be compliant with social distancing guidelines. But it quickly became apparent that – unless one’s business was deemed “essential” – maintaining an in-office workforce was not going to be a viable option. The adoption of remote, work-from-home (WFH) environments was going to be the new normal for the foreseeable future.
Fast-forward a year later, vaccines are being administered, and hope in a back-to-normal life is slowly being restored. And as states begin to lift COVID restrictions, businesses are now in the position of planning a possible return to the office. Similar to the struggle they faced in transitioning employees to a WFH environment, business leaders are now challenged with how they will transition employees back to the office.
“Should staff return all at once?”
“Can we require our employees to be vaccinated?”
“Do we implement different protocols for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated staff?”
“Can I ask an employee if they’ve received the vaccine?”
These are the questions that are on business leaders’ minds as they prepare for what their offices will look like in a post-vaccine world.
Last month, ACG National Capital sponsored the “Re-Entering the Workplace 2.0: Should I Stay or Should I Go?” webinar to assist business leaders in managing the return back to the workplace.
Topics of discussion included:
- Readiness: Strategies for effectively re-entering the workplace
- Space Usage: Through a short-term and long-term lens
- Cultural Effects: Navigating anxieties
- Protocols and Legal Issues: New office guidelines, policies, and procedures
Webinar panelists included:
- Ronda Esaw, Shareholder, Labor and Employment Law, Greenberg Traurig
- Elizabeth Long, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Partner & Studio Director, OTJ Architects
- Holly Martin, IIDA, LEED AP, Partner, OTJ Architects
- Christie Minch, LEED AP, Managing Principal, Workplace Strategy, Cresa
- Rich Rhodes, Managing Principal and Broker of Record for the Washington, DC region, Cresa
Click the play button below to watch the entire Webinar in its entirety: