At Group Delphi we’ve been designing and building spaces for human connection and creativity for over 30 years. Recently, we’ve been faced with yet another creative challenge — getting our teams back to work as Shelter in Place restrictions are lifted. Whether you’re a corporate event planner, human resources professional, or facilities manager, a major part of your role is to ensure the workplace is a safe, empathetic, and joyful space for collaboration and productivity. In fact, your brand messages will resonate even more deeply when you ensure that your environment demonstrates your commitment to your employee and guests’ care.
Bringing your employees out of their safe and sanitized homes and into the office again can be a daunting undertaking. We are all operating with restricted on-site teams and under various regulating guidelines that will evolve in the coming months. While the path for every company’s return to work will be unique, we’ve outlined Group Delphi’s corporate wellness journey as a means of inspiration as you build your own company’s action plan.
Start with People
We must work with what we know now, and we know that the well-being and welcome for our people always comes first. We started with a few key basics to build our own corporate wellness protection strategy; physical distancing, PPE distribution and wear requirements, sanitation, and consistent communication with our people. We used these simple guidelines as a foundation and applied them to the work experience for every team member and square foot of our physical locations.
Build a Corporate Wellness Playbook
It’s our responsibility, in these challenging times, to ensure every employee and guest internalizes and acts in accordance with our safety best practices. Our experience as live event marketers comes in handy here, because we know that brand storytelling builds confidence and is the most powerful means of deep understanding and motivation. So, to start, we built a Wellness Playbook that combines the creative ethos of Group Delphi’s values with thoughtfully curated guidelines pulled from the CDC, OSHA, and County and State Shelter in Place and Stay at Home Orders. We then established a Health Committee of trusted, friendly team members to train and communicate with our workforce, to audit the facility for safety guideline adherence, to maintain cleaning schedules, and to manage cleaning and PPE supplies. Your own corporate wellness playbook, combined with your amazing people, will ensure that the workplace is a welcoming and positive space for creativity and productivity.
Install Welcome Wellness Stations
As a design and build agency, we are well-positioned to create corporate wellness protection solutions for ourselves. Our kiosks and solutions not only protect the guests and employees entering but also prioritize the comfort and safety of our kiosk attendants. Knowing that most businesses are not equipped with acrylic sheets, graphic printing, and state-of-the-art fabrication capabilities, we’ve turned this same suite of Wellness Protection Solutions into an offering that you can use as well. We’ve evaluated our offices and selected separate entry and exit points while observing fire code regulations. We positioned branded and inviting wellness kiosks at our entrance to administer a temperature check, ask wellness questions, and distribute PPE to all who enter the workplace. To manage the flow of employees through our entrances and wellness stations, we suggest that you stagger start times so folks don’t have to wait in long lines to get inside to work. For those awaiting entry in the short queue, we have informative signage and floor markers.
New safety entrance processes for employees and guests can potentially feel intimidating, so don’t forget to keep it fun! To inspire a joyful mood, we’ve implemented touchless, cost-effective riddles and contests into our welcome process — our team members win prizes as we win their confidence.
Curate a List of Wellness Questions
We created our series of entry wellness questions from an understanding of the symptoms of COVID-19, published by the CDC, to perform an articulated self-evaluation of symptoms and contact. Our screening and wellness questions ask about the employees current health and potential exposure. We then outline the corporate wellness safety practices for the office from our wellness playbook and ask for confirmation. Just as a flight attendant asks if you’ve read and understood the evacuation procedures if you’re sitting in an airplane exit row – all who enter must give a verbal acknowledgment that they understand their responsibility to the safety of everyone within the workplace.
Leave No Stone Left Unturned
When it comes to evaluating the safety of employees as they go about their daily work tasks, you must look at every space within your office as an opportunity for improvement. Create a list of corporate wellness priorities and action items stemming from the basics of physical distancing, PPE distribution and wear requirements, sanitation, and consistent communication. In production areas, we relocated and positioned workbenches to maintain physical distance. We’ve also incorporated desk barriers and floor markers for spacing regulations in communal offices. We then evaluated our conference rooms against the number of employees coming back to work in our offices. We suggest that you select and prepare the meeting spaces that offer the most room for physical distancing and conferencing technology.
All employees perform their best when they have safe places away from their workstation to recharge and connect personally throughout the day. You do not need to completely close your break areas, but extreme care must be taken. Implement staggered breaks to allow time for thorough cleaning between users of the space and limit the number of occupants allowed in these spaces at one time. The math for calculating new occupancy is straightforward, as the number of people is dictated by the size of the room and the space available to maintain physical distancing guidelines of 6 feet.
Can’t Touch This
We may be taking MC Hammer’s famous lyric literally here — across every surface, we are attempting to reduce touchpoints and add touchless options. Our Health Committee audits spaces and maintains cleaning schedules and our facilities’ supplies. For our employees, we’ve ensured that there are wash or hand sanitizing stations every fifty feet, taking our restrooms into account as well. Don’t forget to provide cleaning supply stations throughout your space so that team members have materials at hand at any time.
Communal coffee pots and microwaves were taken out of use. Instead, automatic coffee dispensers leveraging eco-friendly disposable cup dispensers were put in place with sanitary supplies at hand, should any surface be touched. We’ve also reassessed our office dining options and curated a selection of individually pre-packed options that can be taken back to workstations. If you’re interested in learning more about how to provide takeout options in lieu of communal office kitchens, check out our To-Go Kitchen solutions.
We are on a path that will continue to change with guidelines as they are issued by governing bodies. There is no one corporate wellness solution for all companies and many employees — including our own — will continue to work remotely. The solutions we’ve created for ourselves are flexible, so we can modify traffic and corporate wellness solutions as we assess patterns in our workforce. Our wellness journey has served our team well and we hope that it will inspire your own.