Emerging from COVID: Where We Go Next
It’s Spring. A time for renewal and for celebrating the end of a long winter. The last eight weeks have been difficult, at times dark, but also enlightening. I tend to be an optimist, so I think the lessons learned will help us improve our business processes, increase our empathy for others and set us firmly on a path of discovery and innovation. Thanks to all of you for giving us space and grace to find our way in this new world.
We have adapted well to working from home, now we are looking towards redefining what it means to work in an office. We are putting together a Workplace Re-Boot document that details our path forward and outlines the implications of our transformed environments including new protocols and policies. From psychological and physical safety to occupancy limits and considerations such as public transportation and childcare, we are producing extensive recommendations to ensure all 1,374 of our employees feel safe and supported.
While we rely on information from the CDC, OSHA and the federal, state and local government to inform our thinking, we are also relying on our own global research. Our research team has been hard at work collecting data from our staff and from others to create a return to work strategy based on empirical data. Before the pandemic, several of our offices had been operating as living labs where we have been compiling data on the built environment’s impact on human well-being, behavior and performance. Today, that data collection has expanded to our staff’s home offices where we are gathering weekly data on the psychological and physical issues of remote working. Some of these findings can be found in Casey Lindberg’s excellent article on Working from home during COVID-19: What our research taught us.
If work comes home, then homes must adapt. We’re figuring out how by studying our own makeshift offices. A weekly firm-wide survey is helping us identify trends related to our employees’ physical and mental health as they work from home. The survey also collects useful details about their workspaces and surroundings.
Our teams have been in the field converting non-health facilities like mothballed hospitals, hotels, convention centers and schools to COVID-19 surge facilities in a matter of days. We’ve also defined how infections spread and how best to mitigate contamination. We will be sharing these findings and recommended solutions shortly.
In the meantime, if we can assist you in rethinking your workplace or solving other environmental challenges you are facing, please give us a call. Thank you for your business and your continued faith in us. Stay well!