Elevator has strived to operate an open policy for our property portfolio, adapting to Government guidelines, throughout the pandemic.
As many businesses remain locked out of their premises, Property Director, Karen Pugh, discusses her thoughts on the need for a cautious and effective plan to help non-essential workers return safely to their offices.
"At the start of October, the BBC released figures from a study of businesses that suggested home working is here to stay. Findings reported that of just under 1,000 firms questioned by the Institute of Directors (IoD), 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working.
"The reporting follows an additional BBC study published in August which suggested that 50 of the biggest UK employers had no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future.
"As the First Minister announced her new tier system – coming into place on 2 November, many ‘non-essential’ workers are still eagerly waiting to find out when they can start operating safely under what most are describing as the ‘new normal’.
"There is no doubt businesses in Scotland have been dealt a series of devastating blows. The future is predicting even tougher times, tighter lockdown restrictions, the end of furlough, and the much-anticipated outcome of Brexit will only add to that.
"As many businesses remain locked out of their premises, COVID is fast becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations. Working from home has completely altered our workplace paradigm. But the biggest question, how will this massive transformation impact you, your team and your organisation?
"Whilst the new norm may be more of a blended approach between home and the workplace, there needs to be effort from employers and employees to start to look at getting safely back into the workplace.
"To develop new streams of interaction - networking, deals, new leads, building relationships - interaction at a human level is required.
"To stimulate development and growth of the business and personnel to ensure that the health and stability of business and people is not adversely affected, interaction at a human level is required.
"Office environments spark not just collaboration but that innovation you see when people are together.
"Prolonged isolation has wider risks than the growth of a business. It is taking its toll on mental health issues; shared workspace often provides employees the opportunity for informal development and networking that is so crucial, particularly early on in a career.
"As the North East sets to battle through the darker months ahead, we know that any transition is going to cause challenges. As the government looks to ease this, we need to look at how we safely reset the office environment.
"Throughout the pandemic Elevator has strived to operate an open policy for our property portfolio, adapting to Government guidelines and requirements along the way. First and foremost, the health and safety of staff and tenants is paramount; however, we have witnessed manufacturing firms and construction sites – those who physically cannot work from home, operate as the lockdown has eased, it can be safely done.
"What we need now is cautious plans and guidance to encourage people safely back to work, to help rebuild our City’s business community, while preventing another outbreak in Aberdeen City and shire.”Back to all blogs