It is estimated that more than 16 million people are now working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With office and co-working spaces temporarily shut down due to safety concerns, many of us are wondering when, how, and if we are going back to the office. In this week’s L.A. Weekly podcast, publisher and host Brian Calle video conferences with Cheryl Osborn, successful entrepreneur and CEO of Casco Contractors, to answer the question we’ve all been asking: how can we safely get back to work?
“The psychological aspect of people feeling safe is probably top of mind for everyone right now,” explains Osborn. “We want to make a safe place for people.”
When it comes to reopening America’s businesses, employers need to have a plan in place that addresses and solves employee fears and CDC best-practices. What we need to be ready for, says Osborn, is that it won’t be business as usual. Works spaces will have to be reimagined and reinvented in order to flourish.
“What does collaboration look like post-COVID-19?” She asks. “We are going to have to reinvent collaboration.”
She also sees employees playing a major role in shaping the future of business and workspaces. “I believe employees are going to have a voice in this new world,” predicts Osborn. “They’re going to have a voice that the employer is going to have to listen to.”
So what will have to happen to ensure that those going back to work feel safe? Osborn has created the Casco #BackToWork initiative to address the uncertainties. Osborn and her team are helping businesses update their floor plans, work stations and common areas to respect new social distancing norms.
“We’ve heard your concerns and are committed to keeping your employees safe, healthy and ready to get back to work when the ban is lifted,” says Osborn to the employers and office managers strategizing how to safely open back up.
Osborn has founded her plan on three crucial tenets: retrofit, reorganize, and reenergize.
First, her team takes a quick analysis of the existing space and the level of risk, determining what needs to be cleaned, what needs to be taken out or put in, and how people are entering and exiting.
After the first step is completed, Casco takes a deeper dive into the space. What is the density of the building? Where are people working, congregating and meeting? How can the team redesign the space in accordance to social distancing?
Lastly, Osborn and her Casco team reenergize the workspace to acknowledge the changes in business and work function we’ve experienced during the pandemic. “People are getting used to working from home,” she explains. “The way we do business is now different.”
A service-minded leader, Cheryl Osborn is a problem solver by nature. While pandemic-era work culture has provided some unique and incredible challenges, this driven female CEO has begun the conversation to get California back on track before others were even thinking about it. Tune in to this week’s podcast for advice on how to not only adapt, but thrive, in your post COVID-19 workspace.