An office, factory or terrace: no matter what a place of work looks like, working safely is on the minds of all employees. Wat are the most important considerations? Which measures can you take to work as safely as possible? At Mercer Marsh Benefits we asked our clients what worries them and which measures they’re thinking of implementing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. In this blog we tell you about their considerations, which are published in our global research.

 

In a previous blog we talked about safely returning to the workplace. The workplace, a physical office building, was traditionally an essential part of the job. A place of interaction between colleagues, a place to meet with clients, a place where facilities and equipment are present and - not in the least - a place that offers structure.

 

Working from home will continue to be the new normal

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, not going to the office was unthinkable in many organisations. Our research shows that in 86% of all organisations, less than a quarter of all employees worked from home. In the meantime, the office has inevitably become less important as a physical workplace. During the crisis more than 2 out of 5 companies had 75% of their workforce working from home. Slowly but steadily employees are returning to the office, but 1 in 5 organisations encourage their workforce to keep working remotely in order to reduce the chances of a possible return of the virus. At least until the end of the year.

 

 

The changing role of the office building: from working to meeting

This raises questions about the future role of the office as a physical place of work. Our research indicates that 73% of all companies expect at least a quarter of their employees to continue to work from home. In 7% of the cases, this even applies to more than 75% of the employees. What are the implications of this development for the function and size of office spaces? Is the office just a meeting place? Is an actual building really necessary? Or only in a slimmed-down form?

You would be wise to think about the implications for your company. What changes are smart to make to your office space? Organisations like ABN AMRO estimate their employees should only have to come to the office two days a week. They respond to this by putting meeting and physical collaboration at the heart of their office spaces: they transform their office into a meeting place to strengthen the mutual interaction between colleagues.

 

 

Employee loyalty top 3 priority for employers

Now that many employees are still working from home and the office building could - in the future - become primarily a meeting point, keeping in touch with employees has become even more important. 40% of employers say it is important to invest in the care and involvement of employees. This puts this aspect next to 'flexible working' and 'working remotely' in the top three priorities of employers. How do you create those touch points with employees, facilitate information flows and how do you ensure that your employees remain proud and passionate?

 

 

Digitally expressing appreciation

In our earlier blog where we spoke about  the importance of digital communication, it already became clear that good internal communication contributes to employee loyalty and that paying extra attention to the (mental) health of employees pays off. With combining a physical meeting place with an online meeting place, you not only strengthen the connection with your organisation - you also optimise the digital experiences of your employees. Provided that the online meeting place meets the current needs of the customer experience: simple, fast and intuitive to use from any device.


Employees are most happy and productive when they feel valued. An online platform like 
Darwin is perfectly suited to show your appreciation for your employees. Darwin provides a real time insight in the value of their benefit package, showing them what you invest in your employees.

 

Darwin also provides control for employees over their benefits not only by providing insight, but also by allowing employees to make online selections 24/7. This superior experience allows employees to interact with your company anytime, anyplace. Employees will remain connected even if they can’t come to the office. This unparalleled online employee experience is why Darwin is used by 8 out of 10 tech giants. In times like these keeping your employees connected to your company is more crucial than ever.

Bart Brenninkmeijer
Bart Brenninkmeijer
Business Development Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits