Crosstown Commercial / April 16, 2021
The New Work Environment – It’s Coming Soon
Though theories abound as to whether or not offices will be reopening in the coming months or if it will be 2022 before we step foot into our official office-spaces daily, the time has come to assess your organization’s preparedness. With more and more being vaccinated every day and case counts of Covid-19 declining at a pleasing rate, it’s time to really think about our ability to provide a safe work environment for employees of every level. But one thing that many haven’t thought about is the lease requirements for their office space.
What changes can be made to the office environment? Do lenders and landlords have a say about the changes you feel need to be made to your office to keep your people safe? Can they approve or deny your wishes? If you haven’t dug through your electronic or paper files for a copy of your loan or lease documents in a while, now is the time to do so.
What Changes Should Landlords and Tenants Partner Together to Make?
The best situation for everyone will be when landlords and tenants agree on what makes a safe environment. What are those changes that we can hope we will all agree on? Check out this list of four changes that we should all be planning for now in preparation for office reopening.
- Social distancing won’t be going away anytime soon – Many of us have become accustomed to the need for social distancing. But how will we do that safely with so many people in the office? What changes can be made to the office spaces to keep a safe distance apart while still getting their work done in a productive teamwork environment?
- How will visitors to an office be treated? After all, a visit to your office means more than just a visit to your office space. Visitors will need to make their way through a lobby space, will need access to restroom facilities, and may also need access to other common areas. What changes will be made to ensure that visitors can come and go safely without negative ramifications to those who work in the building? How can landlords and tenants stay on top of everchanging guidelines from the CDC related to reopening businesses?
- How will landlords communicate with all of their tenants on the steps they will be taking to combat the virus and provide critical information? It will be essential to get ahead of the game through letters to each tenant in their email boxes and conspicuous postings in public areas on the property. Landlords will need to clearly explain the steps being taken to keep everyone safe and plan on listing credible resource phone numbers and links that tenants can go to with questions or more information.
- As employees return to work, landlords and tenants will need to provide cleaner workspaces than ever. And the demand for cleaning companies will be high. Those who start looking into cleaning options now will persevere by obtaining a cleaning contract with a thoroughly vetted reputable cleaning contractor.
The Changes Planned for Now will Keep Employees Safe Tomorrow
By understanding your business’s impacts now, you will have the time you need to incorporate the necessary changes to your office space. A great place to start will be consulting your attorneys and reviewing leasing agreements and expectations related to government mandates and other unforeseen events. Employers will also need to consider how to address employee illness in the future as it may challenge the workers’ compensation system with an increased risk of disease.
Taking steps to get ahead of the game by understanding legal rights and responsibilities will pave the way for a smooth reopening in the months to come.