Category: CDI Spaces News

WE CAN’T WAIT TO COME TO THE OFFICE, BUT HOW?

Our ideas surrounding the workplace environment have drastically evolved since COVID-19. The workplace may no longer be a single location, but an ecosystem of locations and experiences to support safety, functionality, convenience, and wellbeing. Having helped many organizations navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19, we have put together our top ideas.

OFFICE WILL NOT GO AWAY

Over the past year, remote working has received a lot of love; however, we believe that the traditional office will not go away any time soon. A physical office is a place where we come to connect and build relationships with our colleagues and stakeholders. No matter how hard we try to leverage those social interactions through Zoom/ Teams/ Skype meetings, we cannot replicate the whole in-person experience. For example, casual conversations in the photocopy room, or A’s body language while talking to B satisfies our hunger for human connection. Clients typically want to come and have in-person meetings because they want to have a feel for our corporate culture and working environment, which cannot be fully exhibited through online meetings.

Mentorship also plays a big part in the office, especially with post-secondary graduates and students entering the workforce. Many people find job shadowing or working closely with others in a particular workspace to be an effective way of learning. At the end of the day, office spaces are carefully built and designed with a variety of settings catered to the infrastructure of the company. The home environment can work for some of the time or some of those activities, but it is likely not going to be as effective as a customized environment with minimal distractions.

Credit: Utopix Pictures

PHYSICAL DISTANCING IS THE TOP OF MIND

With COVID-19 still lingering, physical distancing is top of mind for many employers and business owners when it comes to office furniture solutionsThere are a few options to help organizations create spatial barriers for employees, as they filter back into the office 

  • Utilizing glass or plexiglass to control the spread of any virus. The glasses give the employees the protection they need, especially in high traffic areas, or where their workstations are not big enough to allow physical distance.  
  • Hotelling stations can also be a great solution. This is a method of reserving office space and resources in an office, instead of assigning employees to a regular workspace. 
  • Hot Deskinglike hotelling stations, allows employees to reserve an office space; however, it is based on first-come, first-serve basis. 

Adding further accessories to the existing furniture is another alternative to create physical distancing barriers. Some barriers can make the space look dense, so it is recommended to use clear materials, allowing natural light to beam through.  

In addition, creating some storage space for employees’ personal belongingusing staff lockers is also encouraged. Not only does this keep their items safe while on their job, but it also helps avoid spreading germs among people. 

Credit: Utopix Pictures

HYBRID WORKING MODEL – THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

The Hybrid working model combines remote and onsite work and continues to be the trend for 2021. Many employers have chosen this option because it allows employees to reduce the number of people in the office for safety and physical distancing due to COVID-19. However, hybrid working is not meant to be a temporary solution, but a response to allow more flexibility for team members. Almost a year since the pandemic beganand one thing we have all learned is that working remotely offers great benefits, such as less commute, and better work-life balance. However, it does not work for every team or industry. The feedback that we received was that many teams did not generate the same results they had prior to working from home due to the lack of collaboration. Nonetheless, coming out of COVID-19, the hybrid working model is a great way for employees to have the flexibility to work remotelyas well as giving organizations the opportunity to rebuild corporate culture at their own pace. 

ACTIVITY-BASED WORKING MODEL

The Activity Based Working model (ABW) used to be considered only for the most progressive companies. Now, it has become more versatile than ever, as the pandemic has shown the need for organizations to be able to adapt quickly to succeed. Teams that utilize the full ABW model prove to be more resilient and able to embrace adversity. ABW is much more than just a physical space, ire-defines the way we work involving people, technology, and space.   

In ABW, the workplace is no longer organized by departments, projects, teams, or confined to a particular place. An ABW office is specifically designed around work activities that employees need to perform at work. The purpose of this model is to empower workers to create the optimal work environment they need to do their job and deliver an outstanding experience to their clients. It also appeals to employers as it gives them the option of accommodating more people in fewer square meters, reducing overall real estate spend  

If you have any questions about office furniture solutions, book a complimentary consultation with us today at 1-888-230-2280 or customerservice@cdispaces.ca. 

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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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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