Most companies plan to take a gradual, cautious approach to bringing employees back to the workplace as governments start lifting Covid-19-related business restrictions, according to analysis from commercial real estate giant CBRE, released May 15.
CBRE analyzed data from account leaders responsible for managing facilities and real estate projects for large companies around the world and found that most have established their own return-to-work criteria and that nearly three quarters plan to bring workers back in phases.
“Our analysis of our clients’ return-to-work strategies shows that virtually all are engaged in detailed planning to ensure a careful and reasoned approach,” Karen Ellzey, executive managing director of consulting and global lead for CBRE’s Covid-19 response for occupier clients, said in a statement. “Most of these companies have established their own criteria for when to return to the workplace beyond local and state government requirements. And nearly three quarters plan to bring employees back in phases rather than all at once.”
The study also found that companies are adding touchless technology, following social-distancing standards, and restricting visitors as they begin the process of reopening. Roughly half of the more than 200 company operations CBRE studies said they are implementing touchless technology to enhance cleanliness, for example. Nearly 60% said they will provide face coverings for employees, and just 21% said they will allow visitors to their facilities in the early phases of opening.
Ellzey added that lessons learned from essential businesses over the last two months have helped lay the groundwork for others.
“With so many essential workers already performing their jobs at commercial properties, there is much that the industry is learning and adapting,” she said. “At the same time, companies must continually monitor local health conditions as they undertake further reopening efforts. Across the board, we see evidence that companies are taking a thoughtful, measured approach to reopening their work environments in a safe and methodical manner.”