There has never been a time when people were more eager to go back to the office than now. Although this insight in no way underplays the tragedy suffered by millions around the world; it nevertheless echoes the cry of the human heart that craves for some sense of normalcy. Experts say a widely available vaccine is still 12 to 18 months away, thus adapting to a life of caution seems like our best shot at what the experts are calling – the new normal.
In the new normal, readiness is the go-to word. How we emerge from isolation to connection while practising social distancing will play a crucial role in scripting the future of flexible workspace models. Our victory against COVID-19 depends on our ability to evolve and change.
It is this change that prompted us to initiate our #SkootrCares initiative, which encapsulates step-by-step operational guiding principles and ways to combat COVID-19 when people return to work after lockdown. As a way to smoothen the transition from fear of infection to fearless function, we’re listing down the few golden rules we have already set in motion.
Six Is The Fix
A pandemic can teach us a lot of things – a new vocabulary is one of them. Before January of 2020, social distancing was not as ubiquitous as it is now. For a world that finds its purpose in connecting with people, social distancing just didn’t jibe with reality.
How quickly our reality changes?
Social distancing is our key component in facilitating the return to work. Maintaining a six-feet-gap before and after you’ve entered the office is now mandatory.
Abundance of Caution
Another pair of words which have found their way into our vocabulary is an abundance of caution. It encapsulates all the measures that are necessary to keep the pandemic in check while moving towards a new normal.
- Wearing masks and gloves outside and inside the office premises
- Installing Arogya Setu app for precaution and Skootr One app for assistance
- Getting the temperature checked before entering the premise through a non-contact digital thermometer
- Using sanitizer frequently and judiciously
- Removing biometrics
- Restricting the number of people allowed in the washroom at a time
- Allowing 30-40% of employees to the office
- Rearranging workstation to follow optimal social distancing
- Serving tea and coffee in disposable cups
- Restricting the entry to the cafeteria
- Sanitizing meeting rooms before and after the meeting
- Disinfecting courier packages before accepting them at the reception
- Barring the entry of delivery/courier executive
- Creating a medical room at each centre
- Keeping at arm’s length on-call doctor and ambulance
The year 2020 might not be what we expected it to be, but it could very well be the model year where the entire world stood in solidarity with each other, not just in words but in pain. As we continue to feel the tremors of the pandemic-quake which shook our economy, all is not gloom and doom for us.
As Bidisha Ganguly, Chief Economist, CII aptly puts it,
“The entire year  will be an adjustment year.”
How we respond to changing times will determine our stance in the future.
How we welcome our employees back will determine our victory against COVID-19.