• When there is a major disruption that changes how we live or work, a company should look for two things. The first being any outdated strategies or policies that need urgent addressing and the second being any opportunities that could benefit their business and employees in the new conditions.

    • Redesigning the workplace for comfort and safety 

      Facing a major disruption head on, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, has forced many businesses to think on their feet to try and adapt to new conditions. Where many employees who have never had to work from home previously, have now had to navigate a different work environment, there can be opportunities employers and businesses can identify throughout this transition.

      Transitioning to an online and at-home work environment can present the need for more online services to continually support remote employees. Redesigning how meetings are held, their frequency, even how to continue the social side of work is important in such a transition.

      ISO 30408 is the International Standard for human resource (HR) management and can guide businesses on the tools, processes and practices needed to establish, maintain and improve effective HR management.

      There are also opportunities to redesign the physical workplace for when work returns to the office. The International Standard ISO 6385 can assist businesses to create a work system that uses fundamental principles of ergonomics to provide guidelines for the design of a space.

      Executives, managers, workers and designers can greatly benefit from ISO 6385 when designing or redesigning the space.

      A future of flexibility   

      Whether the Coronavirus pandemic was the push towards flexible working conditions, there is no doubting its importance in a changing and sometimes challenging landscape.

      Due to COVID-19, many businesses who were able to transition their work to remote or at-home setups have been forced to do so. However, these drastic and fast transitions have presented an opportunity for businesses in the future. Enabling an adaptable version of working can present its benefits if an employee weren't well enough to come into the office, if there were transport issues and for a variety of scenarios.

      A future of flexibility has now become an essential for many businesses. The consideration of flexible working hours and environments could prove beneficial in many cases.

      A switched-on approach to health and safety

      Working in an ever-changing environment, one thing will always remain a constant - the importance of the well-being of employees. As the world has seen a fair share of challenges in order to maintain regular business operations, many employees have needed to transition their work environments in short time frames while still working productively towards reaching personal and business objectives.

      This also presents an opportunity to revisit strategies and policies that address occupational health and safety. As some systems might not account for remote working conditions, now is the time to focus on supporting employees in new ways.

      ISO 45001 provides the requirements for an occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system, giving guidance to enable organizations to provide safe and healthy workplaces.

      Revisiting existing OH&S management systems can help provide employees with a consistently safe and comfortable working environment, regardless of the changes a business may face.

      Taking the right opportunities 

      Standards can play a vital role in discovering where opportunities can be found, especially in challenging and dynamic times. International Standards provide a best practice approach for organizations of any size, in any industry, and can help form the framework and improve current business and management strategies.

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