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Who Guarantees Your Workplace Is Safe for Return?

Source | hbswk.hbs.edu | John Macomber | Joseph Allen

Building health is today a top priority for owners and tenants, but how do we know our offices are safe to re-enter? John Macomber and Joseph Allen offer best practices.

As we start to think about returning to work, shopping, and recreation, there is much talk about transformed workplaces and innovative social distancing designs. But how will companies, workers, and customers have confidence that these new measures will actually be effective at protecting them?

Beyond what we can do as individuals to reduce our risks of exposure, are there objective measures employers can use to validate what is effective? The answer, fortunately, is yes.

Many claims will be made over the next few weeks and months that stores, restaurants, offices, and processing plants are now at a level of reasonable safety to open up. Much media attention has been paid to easing restrictions—basically increasing the available supply of offices, restaurants, colleges, stores, and factories.

“WILL SHOPPERS, DINERS, STUDENTS, AND WORKERS FEEL SAFE RETURNING?”

The demand side should be of equal or greater concern: Will shoppers, diners, students, and workers feel safe returning? How can they be comfortable that the space is safe beyond just taking someone’s word for it?

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