The COVID pandemic has drastically changed the office dynamic. The days of shared pizza lunches on a Friday afternoon are no more and the thought of packing into a crowded breakout room is a less than thrilling prospect.
But the social aspect of workspaces is essential to keep employees happy and motivated. And if there’s no room to blow off steam within the working day, we’re likely to see an increase in stress and anxiety amongst the workforce. There are some easy ways that you can avoid becoming an unsociable office and maintain social distancing.
Take your lunch outside - After months of lockdown, we should embrace any opportunity to enjoy some fresh air. Companies can encourage this by investing in outdoor seating and bench sets that enable their employees to take breaks outside the office.
Aside from being a respite from your office desk, eating outside also gives you the opportunity to catch up with colleagues without putting yourself and them at risk. That’s because you’re much less likely to contract COVID If you are social distancing in an outdoor setting where any potentially dangerous particles disperse much quicker.
Get creative with your protection screens - Protection screens are a practical way to keep employees safe when maintaining a 2-metre distance isn’t possible. And by choosing a clear screen, they also have the added benefit of allowing you to communicate with your colleagues without the risk of spreading airborne germs.
And you can have a bit of fun with them too. Clear protective sneeze screens are easily wipeable so why not challenge a workmate to a lunchtime art battle and create your own dry-wipe masterpieces on each side? Or else try channelling your inner child by playing pen and paper games like naughts and crosses or hangman.
Socialise virtually - A strong sense of morale is vital for a successful and productive office, but social distancing measures mean that the usual away days and team-building activities are no longer viable. However, if lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that you can do pretty much anything over Zoom!
Try organising virtual games tournaments with trivia rounds, card games and bingo sessions to keep employees motivated and connected with each other. This is particularly useful if you’re worried about weakening relationships between teams where there’s a mixture of people working remotely and in the office. You can even share the traditional after-work drinks this way to make sure nobody misses out.