What does a return to the office look like for Wilson Partners?
If judging by the numbers of people out in Soho yesterday afternoon for the August bank holiday is anything to go by, there is a sense that some normality is resuming as we come out of summer and hit the autumn months. I’ve never seen so many queues outside of restaurants which is no doubt a factor of the success of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme but also the reduced capacity that a number of businesses are having to operate under.
As of 1st September our own office is now operational 5 days a week for our team and clients. Like so many businesses we’ve embraced the change brought about by lockdown, but we have been planning for a while to start getting back to the office from September.
We’ve been in regular dialogue with our team over the last 5 months and recognise that everyone has a different outlook on what getting back to the office means for them. Some will be itching to get back to an office environment where they can feed off the energy of their team mates, for others the flexibility of working from home is here to stay. The important thing for us as business leaders is to recognise and understand what the needs of the team are, as well as those of our clients. We want to ensure that for those who want a return to something close to normality that there is a ‘best of both worlds’ solution where we can all feel safe, be productive and meet the needs from a wellbeing perspective.
So what does a return to the office for Wilson Partners look like?
Attendance at the office will be voluntary and numbers will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained. We have reduced the capacity of the office and have utilised a fantastic system for booking desks to ensure we never have more than a set maximum number of people at any one time.
We have focused on our IT hardware so the team don’t need to worry about having their set up at home as well as in the office. Every laptop is compatible with every available desk and set of monitors, along with the now obligatory webcams for those Zoom/Teams meeting we all now take for granted. It’s as simple as bringing your laptop, plug in and away you go.
Of course, there’s also an abundance of cleaning materials and sanitisers to ensure good hygiene is maintained, along with plenty of reminders that regular hand washing is a key factor in reducing risk.
We’ve taken a risk-based approach to mitigate risk. It’s impossible to either completely eliminate the risk of a viral infection or document every eventuality that may occur within the office. However through good communication of the steps taken and everyone taking responsibility individuals can make their own assessment based on their individual circumstances and, if not comfortable, they won’t be forced back in.
We’re looking forward to this next phase of how we work with each other and continuing to support our clients to help them navigate the coming months.
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