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Has anyone started putting together detailed plans on how to reopen physical offices?

Has anyone started putting together detailed plans on how to reopen physical offices? Having staff coming back to office. What are all the decisions that need to be made and prep that needs to be done?

Best Answer


  • John Ragsdale
    John Ragsdale Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Jesse; I haven't talked to anyone progressing that far. Our data is showing many companies will be shifting to more remote work longer term. Here's an article I read recently that outlines a few approaches companies are considering, like staggering shifts to avoid workers being in close proximity: https://www.protocol.com/companies-planning-employee-coronavirus-testing

    Personally, I think testing will have to be more widely available so frequent testing can be factored into the process.

  • AlyssaOrtiz
    AlyssaOrtiz Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭
    edited May 2020

    Hi Jesse,

    We started to meet on this topic on a bi-weekly basis. We're exploring how this will look not only for our customers coming in but also trainers leading in the classroom. There are so many fine details. I am interested to see what others are doing as well.

  • Doug Caviness
    Doug Caviness Member | Expert ✭✭✭

    We have a global framework that deals with resuming normal operations across three stages that is dependent upon the Covid situation in each locality. That being said,other details are still in process, such as specific cleaning and social distancing regiminess, as well as WFH policies after things resume to "normal".

  • StevenForth
    StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    For us this is not quite the right question, as we expect to change how we use our offices. Rather than having people come in to work and for routine meetings, we are planning to change them to brainstorming and innovation locations, where people can get away from their normal situation, meet with colleagues and customers, and think about specific problems. We are finding the work part of working from home is working well (I think I may have worked in the word work a few too many times) but we are concerned about the emotional side of team building and the importance of collaboration and ad-hoc ideas to innovation and adaptability.

  • Alexander Ziegler
    Alexander Ziegler Founding Member | Expert ✭✭✭

    @Steven Forth being concerned about the team building and emotional side is important. Speaking about myself and my current team: We all worked years ago in offices, and at a certian point of time moved into homeoffices. I changed since then jobs and roles and teams and lead today a global team not being able to go to an office. I am convinced that working from home is possible, also around factors of teambuilding (we even celebrate virtual Xmas parties and are still having new ideas) and creativtiy. Maybe there is even more creativity as nobody is disturbing you. The key part is the emotional one to pay attention. But even there I see no challenge as long as all teammembers are honest and taking care of each other. But: I think still it is the flexibility that counts. If somebody wants to go to the office it is nice to have this opportunity for those people. Being flexible is the key from my view. And for 100% remote working teams a face-to-face once a year is a good idea.

  • StevenForth
    StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    @Alexander Ziegler There is a dimension of creativity that comes from deep focussed work that is for sure. And I find working from home helps with this. But that is only one dimension. There is also the physical dance of interaction where people work together on a large whiteboard or around a table playing with objects. Lego blocks, string, go boards, lots of coloured pencils and crayons ... one wants to be able to write on the table top and make big sweeping gestures or small annotations. I find all of these things open up creativity, and that is what I am missing most at the moment. I don't think there is a virtual substitute for this.

  • Alexander Ziegler
    Alexander Ziegler Founding Member | Expert ✭✭✭

    @Steven Forth I agree 100% to the creativity aspect in a certain way - but I also have to say that COVID19 made me think of using the things that exists but are not used. Have you used Mural? Virtual Stickies with uploaded pictures? I admit that my hand writing on a virtual sticky is not as bad as my real own handwriting (which is appreciated), but I find nicer pictures in the internet to upload than I find when I draw on my own. And sometimes it is probably more creative. I also own since years a laptop (and tablet) with a tactile screen and a pen - but I never used it in the past with WebEx. Did you try this? Write on your screen with your pen while presenting? Yes, it brings back my ugly handwriting, and people smile (and complain - but I can draw what I want!) Or take your team out into each others garden virtually in running meetings outside (and then make the experience as we did: after 30 minutes we all started sweating as it was one of the hottest days this year)? Or being on Video in a relaxing brainstorming and the cat of my colleague jumping over his head and we all smiled and suddenly you have the new idea that you never thought about? I think we need to let go, think about new approaches. I was for a long time convinced that things F2F are not the same as virtual, but I think both are having values in regards to creativity, passion, possibilities etc. It feels as if we're just at the beginning of using virtual work and to understand that both virtual and F2F is the same at the end.

  • StevenForth
    StevenForth Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    Thankd you @Alexander Ziegler. There are a lot of good ideas in what you say and we will try them out. Will have to buy some new kit for the team it seems as I want everyone to have access to these tools.