As case counts trend downward and vaccine rollout continues to ramp up, companies are revisiting their return-to-the-workplace plans. Some companies are already bringing employees back on a limited basis, taking advantage of outdoor workspace for in-person collaboration. Other companies have kept their workspace open throughout the pandemic to allow essential employees access to proprietary information. No matter your timing or approach, we can all learn from one another.
Private Workspace Where Your Business is in Control
Providing employees with a private space where your company controls the environment is key.
“We opened our office during the pandemic, and it created some unusual circumstances,” reflects Aaron Hudy, the Regional President for GE Healthcare. Hudy and his team moved into a Flex Workspace+ suite at UCI Research Park in 2020, opting for the private workspace with flexible leasing terms over a coworking space.
Bringing his team into the workplace safely is important since employees need to be in-person to access proprietary information. GE Healthcare’s strict workplace safety protocols mean Hudy and his team need full control over their space, which is exactly what they get at UCI Research Park.
“If I reflect back, had we chosen a coworking kind of environment, there would be no way that our organization would allow our employees to return back to an office building because it would be in a shared space and difficult to control the variables.”
A Safe Return Starts with Employee Confidence
No matter your company’s return timing and approach, every successful return starts with ensuring your employees feel confident coming into the workplace.
“Feeling confident about coming into the office is essential. We feel really good about the level of cleaning and sanitation in the workspace, the airflow, and ventilation,” says Bill Schulz, President and Founding Partner at ima, who moved his team into a new workspace at UCI Research Park last summer.
These feelings are echoed by David Mirsky, CEO Emeritus at Pacific Rim Capital. Like ima, Pacific Rim Capital also navigated a move during the pandemic, relocating to a new suite at Discovery Park. The team has been able to utilize their new workspace safely by adjusting furniture layouts and repurposing conference room space to accommodate essential employees.
“We’re most productive when we’re together as a team, so it’s important our employees feel comfortable and safe coming into the office,” says Mirsky. “Irvine Company is very proactive and we’re extremely well looked after. Any time we’ve had a concern, it’s been addressed immediately. It’s a statement that things just get done.”
Utilizing the Return Planning Toolkit
Many unique factors impact return planning and knowing where to start can be a challenge. Our Return to the Workplace Toolkit can help streamline this process with a decision-making framework, step-by-step guide, and customizable templates for employee communication.
“We’re really impressed with Irvine Company’s Returning Planning Toolkit. Being in the risk management business, we know this level of detail is above and beyond what other landlords are providing,” says Kathy Quintana, COO of HUB California, HUB International Insurance Services Inc.
HUB is utilizing the Return Toolkit materials alongside the company’s internal risk management materials as they lay the groundwork for a phased return later this spring.
Your organization may have already developed several different return plans over the last year only to put these plans on hold as conditions changed. At Irvine Company, we’ve faced similar challenges, quickly adapting plans to keep our teams safe while ensuring our workplaces remain open for essential businesses. Our Return Toolkit draws on these experiences, best-practice guidance from our consultation with UCI Health, and state, local, and CDC guidelines–– acting as a one-stop guide for your company.
We’re Ready When You’re Ready
Your Customer Resource Team is ready to support your safe return and answer any questions about your specific workplace community. For the latest information on Irvine Company’s approach to workplace wellness, including air filtration, building ventilation, and cleaning protocols, visit ComeBackWithConfidence.com