Insights into Office and Workspace Design

The Benefits of Returning to the Office

Many of us have worked from home, whether we wanted to or not during this current global pandemic. You may have saved time commuting. You may have enjoyed more time with your family. You may have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home. However, you might not be seeing the benefits of returning to the office now that your workplace is transitioning away from remote working. So, why return to the office?

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Available Government Grants for Alberta Schools

As announced in late July, the Government of Alberta has released that schools will be opening under Scenario One conditions in September 2020. With only a few more weeks to go before schools are open and running, this might be an opportune moment to explore your options for funding beyond the district sanctioned amounts. Schools are unpredictable, and unanticipated costs can arise almost daily. That being said, having an additional float in your budget can give you the preparedness to navigate unforeseen costs, the flexibility to quickly adapt, and the means to make improvements where you see fit. We’ve put together a quick, comprehensive guide on understanding government grants for schools in Alberta, along with some helpful links below.

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Setting Up a Home Office

For the foreseeable future, working between the corporate and home office is projected to be the new normal. Remote working has been a popular idea even before the COVID-19 outbreak. Think of your typical businessmen and women – after a long day at the office, most of them will return to a home office where they’ll pick up where they’ve left off. While the modern office has shifted to a focus on flexibility, comfort, and atmosphere, no less should be expected from your ‘home away from the office’. When considering home office design, you’ll want to take into account all the aspects that keep you productive at your regular office. Not all home offices are created equal. Your personal office should accommodate your best and most productive working habits.

Here are some points to consider:

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Working From Home in Comfort

Like it or not, home offices are projected to be our sanctuary for the short term, and possibly long term, as well as healthcare officials, have expressed uncertainty as to when Canadians will be able to resume businesses as usual. With Alberta declaring a state of emergency, more offices are being shut down and a large headcount of employees are working from home. Schools, academies and daycares have shut down all physical operations, leaving students learning online, and academic staff working from home. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to make a home office.

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Equipping Post-Secondary Campuses for Fall Returns

With officials predicting the effects of COVID-19 to last into the early new year, post-secondary campuses know better than anyone that it’s time to accept and prepare for this new reality. While society has generally hit a halt, educational institutions are investigating ways to continue academic services in a cautious and accessible manner. Unfortunately, going back to business, as usual, will not cut it this time. Institutions will need to come back smarter and better than before in order to stay open through the remainder of this outbreak, and possibly the next. While re-opening institutions may feel premature, safe returns to campus can be made possible through reinventing the physical university experience. To achieve this, you’ll want to look at reimagining and repurposing your spaces to support new health care policy changes and social distancing protocols.

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Promoting Student Learning at Home Through Healthy Movement

With parents working remotely and students transitioning to full online learning, we’re facing a unique time in history where both parents and children are operating alongside each other at home. While remote working has become increasingly popular in the workforce, online learning will be a foreign experience to most young students. For some children, maintaining attention in a linear classroom setting is already challenging. As virtual learning continues to manifest over digital classrooms, parents are finding it difficult for their children to sit through a day’s worth of online lessons. However, rather than training children to sit still, consider advocating for healthy movement to help students channel pent-up energy into involvement.

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Wellness Considerations for Working from Home

By Dr. Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE, WELL AP, Human Factors & Ergonomics Manager, Allsteel

Staying healthy is on everyone’s mind today. Our focus at the moment has (rightfully) been on disease prevention, however, it is important that we do not lose sight of promoting holistic wellness. We cannot overlook our physical health and mental wellbeing, especially in a climate where anxieties and stress levels may be higher than normal.

Many workers have suddenly found themselves being asked to work from home. Here are some tips for you to take care of yourself during your time working from home, ensuring that you are able to continue to be happy, healthy, and productive.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle While Working From Home

With more employees transitioning to remote work each day, we’re witnessing a major shift in the way Albertans work. This is a monumental change and it is the first time our workforce is seeing anything like this. We’re exploring uncharted territory and are collectively experimenting and discovering new ways to work. Remote working and self-isolation can be an uncomfortable transition for some, but we’ve got you covered on some ways to make it a little more bearable.

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