20 Best Valentine Gift Ideas for Your Coworkers this 2021

Preparing for Valentine’s Day can be stressful, especially if you have no idea what to give to the special people in your life such as your coworkers who are always there to help you with your tasks. When it comes to them, don’t just settle for anything less. If you are still torn on what to offer, we have narrowed down for you the list of creative, lovely, and unique Valentine gift ideas.

Valentine Gift Ideas for Coworkers

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. You might be asking yourself right now what the most ideal and smart Valentine gift ideas are for this year. The following items under various categories might help you decide and land on the best present for your coworkers:

Gift Ideas for Motivation

1. Inspirational Books

Celebrating Valentine’s Day this year will be different because of the pandemic. Outdoor activities are limited and many actions are restricted. Although it’s almost been a year since the community quarantine started, some are still emotional about the impacts of the pandemic. Because of this, inspiring your coworkers through simple things like an inspirational book they could read would greatly help. Bookworms, without a doubt, will surely appreciate it!

Check out interesting books here  https://bit.ly/37DUnz8.

2. Wall Art

When you want to go with this, you have two options: first is to buy from a gallery the type of art you think the receiver will love. The second is to create your own art that can make your coworkers be motivated whenever they see it. Frankly, the second choice is better. However, if you have doubts about your artistic side, you can go with the first. But remember that to the people who have a genuine heart, even simple things can be extraordinary as long as it’s from you. 

Here’s a store suggestion if you have decided to buy a wall art: https://bit.ly/2TO92nf.

3. Flower Delivery Subscription

It’s not every day that your coworkers receive flowers. This is your chance to make them feel loved and remembered. Get them a few months of subscription to a flower delivery service. Anyone who would receive flowers, no matter what their gender is, age, and other things to consider, would love to have it.

If you are looking for a flower delivery store to subscribe to, check this out: https://bit.ly/3rud6GP.

4. Graze Board 

Bring your creativity all out for this. Yes, every day feels like a special day, but Valentine’s Day is an exceptional day to everyone — a time to make the people around you feel remembered and extra special. Prepare a special grazing board for your coworkers for a job well done to motivate them to keep on giving their best on work. But instead of a board, put it in a box or an enclosed food tray. Just a tip, load the board with all of the favorite food of your coworkers, partner it with wine or spirits, and have it delivered right to their doorstep.

valentine gift ideas graze board

Learn how to make a grazing board here https://bit.ly/37kpoIj.

5. Gift Certificate

Being away from your colleagues this hearts day doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot give them gifts. Many platforms have arisen to help you reach them. And did you know that nowadays, even gift certificates can be purchased and given as gifts virtually? Yes, you read it right. Keep their motivations high by rewarding them this VDay with a GC from one of their favorite stores.

If you want to learn more about how it works, visit this link http://bit.ly/3jqhML3.

6. Monthly App Subscription

The only challenge here is choosing which app to give them a subscription to. But working together for quite some time surely gave you an idea that could lead you to the best choice. For a movie lover, the app named Netflix would be perfect while for music lovers, Spotify would be ideal. But if you think none of the two sounds great, you can search online for other applications available. 

This link can help you explore more applications to choose from https://bit.ly/3aWiU4z.

Gift Ideas for Eco-Friendly Coworkers

7. Zero Waste Shampoo and Conditioner

With all the negativities in the world these past few months, Don’t you think it’s time we do something different? Many people would again exchange gifts this VDay, leaving a lot of wastes. As much as possible, avoid having lots of waste as we celebrate the season of hearts this 2021. These zero waste shampoo and conditioner would help you shift into being quite eco-friendly!

Valentine gift ideas zero waste shampoo and conditioner

Want to go zero waste in your Valentine gifts this 2021? Try these unique products here https://etsy.me/2tc8uN5.

8. Heart Plant

The pandemic made many of us plant lovers just to get off the boredom of staying indoors, but mostly to do something positive for the environment. So giving your workmates a heart plant this hearts day can make them feel valued. Plus, its shape says it all.

If you have decided to have this as your gift to them, here’s a quick suggestion of where you can buy some: http://bit.ly/3oWswSH.

9. Wooden Picture Frame

Happy memories just never get old. And since nowadays, we take pictures of some of the special things we do, give your coworkers a special frame for the photos you have. Wooden ones aren’t necessary, but they just give this retrospective feeling.

Here are some wooden picture frames you might love: http://bit.ly/2MKWOut.

Decorative Gift Ideas

10. Photo Heart Collage

Trying to find something creative? This might be the one you’re looking for. Compile all your fun photos together and edit them to make a heart-shaped collage. Better if you can have it printed and put in the same shape frame. It’s always nice to see photos that would remind you of the moments you had together.

No need to worry if you don’t know how to edit. You can hire a person to do it from different sites such as this one http://bit.ly/39W44fV.

11. Digital Camera

Whether you like it or not, not all things can last for a lifetime. But the memories you shared could! Help them capture every moment you have together through a digital camera. Bring back the happy memories every time you see the photos taken.

Looking for an affordable camera? Here’s a suggestion for you: https://bit.ly/2U72pg9.

12. Collectible Items

For your coworkers who love to spend their free time playing mobile or computer games, probably they have a bias amongst the characters. Why not give them an action figure of that specific character? It can also be their favorite superhero, a cast of a film, or even a bobblehead of them that they can display in their house or office. Believe it or not, it feels great to see your gift being showcased in their space. 

Have a 3D printed bobblehead or action figures here http://bit.ly/39VzmDG.

13. Reversible Sequins Pillow

For those who are miles away from you, give them something to warm up their Valentine’s Day, but make it extraordinary! This seems like a simple gift, isn’t it? But you can personalize the sequins design to form an image, such as making it inspired by a photo of you together. Then have it delivered right to their doorstep.

valentine gift ideas reversible sequins pillow

Get a reversible sequins pillow here https://bit.ly/2vBZjqe.

14. Warmies Slippers

Want to know the solution when they’re cold? Warmer slippers it is! Comfortable warmies slippers with lovely designs might keep this year’s heart month warm. Perfect for your coworkers who are working from home. 

Find the best warmies slippers for them here https://bit.ly/36GpQPS.

15. Graphic Sweatshirt

Another way to give warmth this season of hearts, especially to the guys in your circle is through this one of the great Valentine gifts for him graphic sweatshirts. You can have the prints personalized such as a quote to brighten up his day, which he’ll surely appreciate.

Looking for graphic sweatshirts? Check out this store: http://bit.ly/3p0ilMO.

16. Wine Glass

Take a toast for reaching this Valentine’s Day together! Show it with some class through Valentine’s wine glasses. If all of you are the type of persons who love having their tippies in style, this would be something they would likely adore. 

Choose from the wide range of drinking glasses here http://bit.ly/2MXGFSh.

17. Zodiac Sign Necklace

Obsessed over horoscopes? Whether they believe in what the stars have in store for them or not, this can be one of the lucky Valentine gift ideas for her and even for everyone in your team! Giving them something like this is also a sign that you pretty much know them. 

See some of the best zodiac sign offerings here http://bit.ly/3pYNuS7.

Gifts Ideas for Productivity

18. Board Games

Bored at home because of the community quarantine? Avoid going out to keep everyone safe this Valentine’s Day, instead, give your coworkers something that can keep their minds productive in other areas rather than work, like for a fun time. Have them spend some indoor moments together with their loved ones by giving them a board game! Share to them a tip to prepare some special dishes and get the board games ready for war! Tip of which board game to choose: Pick the classic ones.

valentine gift ideas board games

Check out various board games you can play here https://bit.ly/2RkfzEx.

19. AirPods

Who doesn’t love listening to music at times? We all do! And that is why a pair of true wireless earbuds would be one of the lovely Valentine gift ideas for him and to your coworkers, especially that according to studies, music, depending on the genre and the person listening to, helps boost productivity

It is more convenient to move around as it is wireless. Plus, you can personalize its case with the design they’ll surely love such as a printed message saying “You are loved.” or an image of their favorite character.

Love this idea? You can have AirPods cases customized here https://bit.ly/2sUKxKg.

20. Coworking Space

Since 2021 is still a year of remote work setup, the time to focus and an ideal space to get things done could be the most perfect Valentine gift idea to your coworker who either can’t work properly at home because of all the distractions or who would simply want to work somewhere else and experience something new. A membership to one of the best coworking spaces is definitely something to look forward to. 

Give them flexible access to an awesome workspace and office amenities such as secure storage, conference rooms, meeting pods, fast internet connection, reliable utilities, complimentary refreshments, break out area, and many more. 

valentine gift ideas coworking space

Here are some workspace plans and prices you might want to check out: https://bit.ly/3cPcTdu.

Wrapping Up

Aside from the above-mentioned Valentine gift ideas, plotting a virtual party with any exciting activities to spend time together are also remarkable additions to celebrate this year’s season of hearts with your coworkers. Best of luck in bringing out their most genuine smile! 

Did coworking space get your interest and want to avail a plan for your coworkers? ARCH Serviced Offices has all the tools and facilities you need to work your best! Contact us to learn more about our workspace solutions. 

How to Create Connection and Community in Remote Teams

Looking for effective strategies to shape up your remote team? Building a community with a strong connection can be a challenge in a remote work setup. What efforts should you administer to keep the group connected and prevent them from getting the feeling of detachment?

A recent study has proven that people need social interaction to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity. It’s easy to focus on the tasks, but isn’t it better if your people feel fun and rewarding environment that could make them love their job even more? 

As a remote team, having each member look forward to another workday is already an awesome achievement. But how can you do that? By trying out effective ideas and hacks to build a culture of trust and connection. 

Having Coworkers is Different from being a part of a Community

If you are getting a little confused about whether or not your team has achieved the level of community, this is what you have to take note of: Having coworkers is different from being a part of a community. Coworkers only mean working the business processes together, sharing resources to complete the tasks, and earn. On the other hand, the community is all about having a strong connection with each other, having shared visions, and doing activities as a team with unity and camaraderie.

How Does a Community in a Remote Team Improve Business?

A remote team is more likely to be productive and efficient when there is a sense of community. Some of its benefits to businesses are the following:

  • Higher employee retention rate
  • Higher productivity and efficiency rate
  • Reduced conflicts in the workplace and within the team
  • Increased collaboration and innovation
  • Healthier work culture, and many more

All of these helps create a better impression and drives your business towards growth.

10 Keys to Build a Great Culture and Community in a Remote Team

The future of work setup now looks different from how we imagined it before the pandemic started. Today, at least 1 out of 5 workers is a part of the distributed workforce, but this will not hinder people from interacting with others. We always seek ways to connect, learn and grow. 

Here are the effective and top hacks for remote teams to stay connected and foster a sense of community: 

1. Communicate Honestly with Clear Expectations

Communication will always be at the top of the list for an effective remote team. One way to do this is to set a schedule for weekly team meetings. An effective virtual team meeting allows you to discuss challenges, brainstorm processes, and celebrate successes together. 

Moreover, setting clear expectations will boost productivity. Take some time to talk about the goals of your team including the specific target per task. This way, you can achieve both building a strong group connection as well making your team high-performing.

Nowadays, there’s no way for you not to connect as remote communication is now easier. As a result of the continuous development in technology, many sites and applications have emerged to keep us connected whether through chat, video calls, or emails such as Gmail, Slack, Viber, WhatsApp, Zoom, and many more. 

2. Create a Dedicated Random Channel

A non-work-related group chat would greatly help create a lighter aura within the team. It is more important than it may initially seem. Remote work can sometimes make employees feel lonely. This channel can help improve team collaboration and workflow.

Here, each individual in your group can ask questions and share thoughts, stories, and random things they want to share such as everyone’s favorites, new movie releases, pets, kids, celebrities, and many more. 

A dedicated random group chat helps create connections and community in remote teams. It can make you feel as if you are all together in the same room, eliminating the barriers of working and having conversations virtually. Just a tip, promote a positive vibe within the channel to encourage everyone to read and get along. 

3. Show Up and Smile for the Camera

Human leadership is what impacts the most during challenging times. Your presence as a leader and your effective strategies to properly manage the team are what your people need in a remote work setup. When they see how dedicated you are, it significantly influences the way they work. This is why you must show up with a positive aura and attitude towards work and colleagues. 

Weekly video calls, seeing everyone’s faces also create a different level of connection and belongingness. 

4. Facilitate Fun Engagement Activities

Take a few minutes of team break at least once a week. Use this time to have some fun games or any non-work-related activities that can hype everyone like a trivia session, quick bingo, and many more. Make use of the collaborative tools you can find online. 

There is nothing wrong with infusing a little fun into everyone’s day. Keep in mind that a team that laughs together, innovates together

To get the energy up high, reward the winners with something useful or in demand. A gift certificate in an online shopping platform for instance. Even simple prizes could go a long way. This could boost motivation and get them ready for the tasks.

5. Create a Sense of Stability

The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainties. Reassuring your people at this time is what they greatly need. However, being transparent as possible about the business performance and the future market forecasts would also be ideal. We need to face the fact that in business, it’s not always good times, but there are also downtimes, and this is what will inspire us to keep on working hard — to create a strong sense of stability. 

6. Establish Frequent Professional and Personal Check-ins

Amidst the global crisis, you must put your people first. Tap on each of your members from time to time and ask how they are doing. A simple message would also be appreciated like, “Hey, if you need anything, I’m here to help.”

Always have the ears and the heart to listen to them. There’s no other way to authentically connect with others than relating to their stories. Let them know that you are always there for them professionally and personally when they need you, even for the pettiest reason. Be there, especially when they least expect it. 

7. Eliminate Isolationism in Your Remote Team

One way to fight isolationism within your group is to build a buddy system. This could be based on their interests like books, action figures, food, and many more as that is where you can strongly bring out their best side. 

Moreover, an article in Harvard Business Review stated that 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees. From this, we can assume that when the roles are reversed, the rate would be higher. Make them feel that you are not the typical superior they think you are — but more of a friend to whom they can have conversations and do activities.

8. Have an Appreciation Platform

If you want to keep your people and have them enjoy an active and rewarding community, make each member feel valued by you and the other team members. Recognize their good works in front of others to encourage everyone not just to keep hustling, but to congratulate the person. This creates a happy air within the team, bringing each other closer.

9. The Cupcake Principle

Even when your people are working remotely, make sure everyone gets a piece. This is easier nowadays as many food delivery services are within your reach. This is a great idea, especially each time the business achieves a milestone. Your people did their special parts for it. Let them feel that they are a part of the success even through simple gestures. 

10. Coworking Spaces

When working remotely, there are times when we are longing to be around other people, especially our colleagues during work hours. It makes us feel an overall sense of connection in various aspects of our lives, may it be personal or professional. 

Satisfy the longingness by considering offering coworking space for your staff who need a workspace or those who want to work with others in the same place. 

Another great idea would be to get a meeting hub where you and your people can gather at least once a month to discuss the important business activities while enjoying the presence of everyone.

Communication for a Productive Team of Remote Workers

When you have a strong connection and a solid community, a remote work setup will never be a hindrance to achieve the goals of your organization. You can empower each other and unleash your team’s full potential. Try these practices to provide support and different opportunities for connection and building a community within your team, no matter where they are.

Looking for great coworking places and hubs to meet and connect with your team? Arch Serviced Offices got you covered! Get in touch with us to learn more about our coworking and meeting spaces.

Holiday Virtual Gift Ideas for Your Remote Work Colleagues

Looking for easily-available presents for this year’s holiday season can be a challenge because of the global crisis, but even this pandemic will not stop us from spreading the love! As they say, if there is a will, there is a way. And it is a fact, especially nowadays when most of the things you need are just a few clicks away. Whether you want to express your gratitude towards your colleagues for being such a great help to you or you just want to make them feel remembered, you can get something to give even when you are on a work from home set up. 

20 Virtual Gifts for Your Coworkers this Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly! Don’t stress yourself out trying to find the most ideal presents as we are here to help you. We have listed some of the great finds to choose from for your holiday virtual gifts:

1. E-Card

If you want to give your workmates something to brighten up their day but on a short budget, an appreciation letter or an e-card will do. Who said gifts should always be material? Aside from it’s safer as it is digital, you can also write your heart out, especially the kindest things you’ve been wanting to tell your colleague. Send it through email or other messaging applications. Remember that the remarkable presents are the ones that can bring out the receiver’s emotions.

2. Book

virtual gift book

For your bookworm coworker, this is the perfect gift. Take note that you don’t have to go out to buy one. There are many online book stores where you can purchase a book and have it delivered to their doorsteps. To make it more relevant by finding a book related to the current situation such as how to keep yourself motivated on a remote work set-up. Another option you got is an e-book. Simply get one and hand it as a gift through email. They will surely love it.

3. Gift Certificate

One of the popular surprises this year is the gift certificate, most especially for companies. Since people cannot just go here and there as a result of the pandemic, you can resort to digital GCs. Purchase from a trusted gift certificate site and send it to your teammate via email. What’s great about this is the endless options. It can be on a gas station, grocery store, online selling platform, restaurants, and many more. 

4. Supercards

Another awesome timely gift! Many employees are on a remote work set-up and the only way to successfully communicate and do meetings that will make you feel like you are in the same place is through video calls. However, we cannot fully eliminate the minor problems that may cause setbacks. With this, supercards can be greatly useful at this time.

5. App Subscription

Yes, it is challenging to choose which app to subscribe to, but here goes how well you know your colleagues. It can be a lot of help when you choose this type of holiday virtual gift considering that there are a lot of applications out there. A few examples are if they love movies, pick Netflix. For music lovers, Spotify would be nice. 

6. House Cleaning Service

virtual gift house cleaning service

A part of the list that would go a long way is the house cleaning service. Since the pandemic is still not over, having a tidy home could somehow make you feel better for a safer and more homey vibe that could encourage you to stay at home. Moreover, it will help eliminate the bacteria causing the virus to spread. This works simply by contacting a house cleaning service provider and set the most ideal schedule for your remote work teammate. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone do the cleaning.

7. Gift Basket

This may seem a bit cliché, but who wouldn’t love to receive a basket full of joy? Some of the well-known types of gift baskets are fruit basket, cocktail kit, and grocery basket. Check some online selling platforms and you will definitely find some ready-to-deliver gift baskets. With the wide variety to choose from, you might feel dizzy, but you can also go with something more personal such as a customized package consisting of the things you know they love.

8. Food Delivery

With all the useful apps being introduced today, especially the mobile food delivery platforms like Foodpanda, total convenience is in your hands. In just a few clicks, your cravings will be delivered right to your doorsteps. Why not do the same to your coworkers? Send them something to delight their day like a cup of coffee, a full meal, dessert, and many more. 

9. Flower Delivery

Make it a memorable day for your workmates with a flower delivery from an online flower store. This may be the sweetest and most thoughtful present they will receive this holiday season. 

10. Tech Supply

The work from home setup can sometimes be challenging, especially if you lack the materials needed. This is where you can get inspirations of what tech supply your colleagues might need, which are commonly tech accessories. You can also purchase this from online selling platforms or directly to the brand store.

11. Office Supply

Yes, you are not working in the office, but just like you, your workmates will definitely need at least one of the office supplies such as a ballpen and a notepad to take down notes if they do not want it to be digital. Buy the most used office supply and have it delivered to their home. 

12. Virtual Gym Membership

virtual gift idea virtual gym membership

Remind your teammates that this holiday season is not the time to just sit and chill. Encourage them to stay fit and start a healthy and active lifestyle to fight against the virus by giving them a virtual gym membership that they can use at home. To make it more fun, ask them to do it together through a video call. It will surely motivate them more.

13. Stress Reduction Kit

The situation nowadays can be a little stressful. Help your coworkers survive the roller-coaster of emotions with a simple stress reduction kit. This may consist of aromatherapy oil, stress balls, fidget spinners, massagers, scented candles, and many more. This can also be purchased online and have it delivered to their home. 

14. Tea or Coffee

Back to the normal times before the pandemic, going out for a tea or coffee break is one of your favorite pastimes. Even if you are on a work from home setup, you can still do it together. Send them a package of tea or coffee as your holiday gift and tap them to spend a coffee break together through a video call.

15. Virtual Health and Wellness Program 

virtual gift idea health and wellness program

This is quite a delicate time for everyone and helping your workmate maintain their well-being would be one of the perfect presents this holiday season. Get them a virtual health and wellness program that they can use at home.

16. Printed Socks

Make them feel the warmth of the holiday season with a pair of printed socks. You have the option of whether to buy a readily available design or have it customized with their favorite style and characters with the help of a printing shop, which you can also find online. 

17. Cable Organizer

At some time, your work from home colleague might find it quite annoying for the cable of their computer or mobile phone charger to keep on cluttering around the house. Help them organize it through a set of cable organizers as your holiday gift. 

18. Online Interior Design Service

Considering that we are all staying at home because of the pandemic, why not spruce up the space of your teammates by getting them an online interior design service? There are a lot of packages to choose from. To get the most of it, ask them which one is the best for them.

19. Virtual Cooking Class

For foodies, especially those who love to make their own food, sign them up for a virtual cooking class they can attend during free time. This not only helps them have a better type of meal instead of having the regular unhealthy instant food, but can also be entertainment for their pastime.

20. Coworking Membership

virtual gift idea coworking membership

If you have a remote coworker who can’t work at home, this is probably the best gift there is for them. 

Yes, this is the year of the remote work setup, but believe it or not, some do not have the luxury to work properly and peacefully at home because of the many factors affecting the way they work. Some of these are the noise and mess of the whole family and pets, especially if there are children. They do not have control over these. 

Instead of making them stay at cafes and other public places, gift your colleague a coworking membership. Fortunately, there are businesses today like Arch Serviced Offices that offer this type of service wherein your teammate will be given flexible access to workspaces and savor the most out of the office amenities and all at an affordable price with different plans to choose from.

At Arch Serviced Offices, your teammate will get to enjoy the premium access card, fast internet connection, secure storage, reliable utilities, clean and safe working space, access to conference rooms and meeting pods, complimentary refreshments, break out area, and the service of friendly onsite staff. There is nothing more they could ask for once you give them this one-of-a-kind holiday gift.

There are many other things that your remote colleague would want to get for the holidays and these are just a few on the list. And what’s awesome about this digital age of gift-giving is seeing that the internet is full of possibilities. Remember that no matter what you give, it will surely cheer them up and maintain a good rapport. 

It’s just great to think that amidst challenging times, we still find ways to bring the team together and show appreciation to each and everyone this holiday season. Get in touch today to know more about the services and get on with the purchase!

Social Distancing at the Workplace: Effective Social Distancing Measures to Keep Your Office COVID-19 Free

With the quarantine measures relaxed and thousands of people going back to the office, social distancing at work will likely be the first subject of the conversation. After months of working from home, we can be a little apprehensive with the idea of returning to the office. How exactly do we “social distance” in the workplace? 

There are social distancing measures that people must follow in the office, such as the six-feet distance that people must keep between themselves and others. We don’t know how long these social distancing requirements will last, but employers and employees will need to work together to introduce and implement these guidelines to keep workplaces safe and secure. 

Social distancing measures have set in motion a change to office life that is unanticipated: the office layout. How can people maintain the six-feet distance between themselves and others when they’re sitting right next to their coworkers, for instance? How will people eat in the pantry? The main problem that arises, then, is this: how can employers and employees work together to make sure that our offices are safe spaces that will keep its occupants healthy?

Why Social Distancing?

Before we dive into the changes serviced offices or offices in general must implement, we must discuss why it is important to follow social distancing measures in the first place. 

Covid-19 is a disease that spreads through people who are in close contact with each other for a prolonged period of time. When one person sneezes, coughs, or even talks without a mask on, droplets emitted from their mouth will be propelled through the air, eventually putting everyone nearby at risk of contact to the virus. Social distancing measures are especially important in an office, which are usually compact, enclosed spaces where airborne diseases can easily spread. 

Keeping a safe six-feet or two-meter distance from other people can help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Avoiding crowded spaces and refraining from close-contact social interactions such as shaking hands and hugging can also help. Rearranging office layouts and lessening the density of the workplace are just two ways to adapt to social distancing measures, thereby keeping office occupants healthy and safe from disease. 

How to Promote Social Distancing in the Office

Not all offices are the same; every office will face different sets of problems when adapting to social distancing measures. However, the following changes can work for every office, no matter its size, shape, or design. Follow these changes and practices to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in your workplace.  

1. Allow some employees to continue working remotely

While there are employees who are ready and raring to go back to a socially distanced office, there are still others who are cautious and wary about entering public spaces, especially during commutes. Let those who can work remotely do so; this will lessen the office population and thus reduce the chances of spreading Covid-19

a. Stagger start times

It would be better for the employees who are going back to the office if they came in at different times, and not all at the same time. Stagger the start and end of shifts so that there won’t be a morning and evening rush. This will ease the number of people congesting elevators and other common areas, as well as help those who use public transportation avoid heavy traffic. 

b. Rotate schedules

Alternate the weeks on which certain people can come in. For example, split employees into teams and have Team A come in during the first and third weeks of the month, while Team B will come in during the second and fourth weeks. While one team is at the office, the other will be at home, thus halving the office population and giving people more space to practice social distancing properly.  

2. Take a good look at your current office

The first step to making adjustments that adhere to social distancing measures is giving the existing office layout a good look. More likely than not, removing every other desk will not be the best option. When changing the layout of the office, one must consider foot traffic, high-touch surfaces, spaces that can become easily congested, dead ends, and common areas. Once those spaces have been identified, then the hard work of restructuring the layout of the office can begin.

a. Make a simple map of the office

Adjusting the office begins with careful planning, and careful planning starts with making a map of the existing office layout. Make sure to include pillars, boundary walls, doorways, power outlets, and other immovable features in the map. By making a map — even a simple one — employers can plan out a new, socially distanced layout that will maximize the space of the office and ensure the safety of their employees. 

b. Identify high-traffic areas 

One simple way to identify the areas where people usually walk is by checking the spots where the carpet is worn out. These areas are the high-traffic pathways of the office. Take note of the locations of these high-traffic areas and keep them in mind when making the office map, because these areas are where congestion is likely to happen.  

c. Consider routes to and from desks

Employees should be able to go through the office entrance to their desks without passing by a lot of people. When adjusting the layout of the office, make sure to create new paths that avoid busy, high-traffic areas and pass by the least number of people possible. Implement a one-way traffic system for best results.

3. Change the office layout

Social distancing protocols will have to change the way that offices look. While this includes removing some desks, that is not all that there is to it. Socially distant offices must have the following adjustments made. 

a. Put partitions for unavoidable face-to-face interactions

There will be places where employees will have to have face-to-face interactions, such as the reception desk. For these places, consider installing transparent partitions. While these partitions aren’t as effective as masks and social distancing, they do allow communication while creating a physical barrier that can protect employees.

b. Measure six-foot buffer zones around each workstation

Social distancing measures call for a six-foot or two-meter distance between people to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 through tiny droplets that fall through the air. To make sure that employees are socially distant while at their workspaces, employers must create a six-foot buffer zone around each employee’s desk. This means that some desks must be taken out, if the distance between each adjacent seat is less than six feet.

If the office has rows of desks that face each other, it might be enough to just remove every other chair at each row. This would create vacant seats on either side and in front of each employee, thus satisfying social distancing protocols. 

Once each desk has been arranged in a socially distanced way, then employers can determine how many employees can come in at any given time. This information is very useful when deciding who will work at home and who will come into the office. 

c. Remove some seating

There will be areas in the office where social distancing will not be possible, such as the lobby, break room, pantry, or reception. If there are seats and tables at these spaces, some of them will have to be removed to enforce social distancing measures. Aside from removing these seats, one can also face them to the wall or cover them in signage that will prevent people from using them. 

d. Set maximum occupancies for meeting rooms

Without proper social distancing measures in place, shared spaces like pantries and meeting rooms can quickly become overcrowded. Employers must determine how many people can be in these rooms while still maintaining the recommended six-feet distance between each of them. Make sure that the new number of people allowed in the break room or conference room is communicated to each employee.

Employers must also consider ways to reduce the use of these rooms. Encourage employees to eat at their desks, or have their meetings via video conferencing tools such as Zoom.

4. Put up signage and posters

Ensure that employees understand and remember the social distancing protocols that are in place by placing clear signage and posters in all areas. Make sure to set down big, brightly colored floor markers six feet apart so that employees can more easily follow the recommended safe distance from each other. Enforce the one-way traffic flow of the new office layout by putting arrows on the floor. Add posters about maximum occupancies and proper social distancing measures outside each meeting room, common area, and elevator. 

5. Expand office space

Once the hard work of adapting to social distancing protocols has begun, employers might discover that they do not have enough office space to safely host their employees. For those with budgets, expanding office space is always a good idea. Those without budgets might start looking for office leasing or space leasing. By moving some employees to a satellite office through serviced offices in Makati for example, employers adapt more quickly to this new normal. 

No matter the size or shape of the office, changing to the new socially distant layout that increases space and reduces density will no doubt help reduce the spread of Covid-19. While no one can truly say when the pandemic will end, it is always helpful to make the office a place that prioritizes the safety and health of its occupants.

If you’re looking for a safe office space for your team, please drop us a call or email us at hello@archoffices.com 

How Will Workplaces Transform in a Post-Pandemic World?

While most people are currently working from home, it is highly likely that offices and other workspaces will return in some shape or form once the pandemic subsides. Some do not have proper working environments while others miss face-to-face interaction among colleagues and collaboration opportunities that the office can offer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has overturned almost every aspect of work, most importantly, employees’ needs in the spaces where they work.  A completely remote workforce can be improbable given the intangible benefits of social connection and collaboration that in-person working provides. Nevertheless, it is important for businesses to create optimal conditions for employees to work remotely as well as in the office. Companies will need to consider new strategies and transform the workplace to adapt to the workforce’s changing needs.

First Things First: Health and Well-being

Employers are always bound to comply with workplace health and safety regulations. The health and safety of employees must be prioritized by employers as they return to the office. COVID-19 has raised everyone’s awareness about their surroundings and other potential breeding grounds for communicable viruses or diseases and this has sent businesses scrambling to redesign their offices to meet new health requirements and respond to a workforce that has a heightened concern for health and well-being. A healthy paranoia, so to speak, on personal health and wellness is to be expected.

As an employer, communicating that these health precautions are in place can reassure employees that their return to work will be safe. However, it is not enough to tell your employees that it is safe to go back to the office. As an employer, you have to show that the workplace has not only been redesigned to confront the health crisis, but that these changes have been restructured around the type of work their employees do on a daily basis.

Air quality, ventilation, and temperature regulation could provide ways forward and are important factors to start on. For instance, airports, leisure facilities, and hospitals across the globe have come up with smart building solutions to better detect infections and reduce transmission. With emerging technologies just around the corner, we can surely think of simple ways to start with and long-term plans to set definite goals for workplaces and employees after the pandemic.

Reimagining the Future of Workspaces

Many of us definitely miss the simple joy of coffee with our colleagues in the pantry. Brainstorming in the lounge and sketching out ideas on the whiteboard are just some of the few things that cannot be done by remote teams. What separates a physical office from a remote work set-up is the collective energy of a space filled with enthusiastic people united in a common purpose.

It goes without saying that remote work is a success for most businesses, especially if they are fully capable and they have the means to provide their employees with the tools they need.  But many are struggling with solving complex problems and creating new ideas without the intrinsic human experience of working together, not to mention in office spaces designed specifically to foster creativity and innovation that companies need to grow and be productive.

Social connections in the office build trust that can last for so long among colleagues. After many months of working apart, remote employees note that the main reason they want to go back to the office is for them to collaborate and socialize in ways that are not possible remotely. Consequently, efforts to create a wide variety of spaces and office designs that support these work modes should be ramped up to develop a working atmosphere conducive to good social interactions and active collaboration.

Employees will continue to be drawn to comfortable workspaces that support their well-being and allow them to have face-to-face conversations. And so employers and decision-makers must pivot towards encouraging safety protocols and physical distancing measures not only to boost productivity, but also to promote a work environment where your employees can feel safe. (Read: How ARCH Offices Reinvented their Spaces Amid Covid-19).

Short-term Solutions

 

1. Carry out office-wide cleaning protocols

Employees will want to know what kind of safety protocols employers are putting into place to avoid the spread of the virus. Businesses must implement cleaning and sanitizing guidelines for all workstations, facilities, conference rooms, lounges, and lunchrooms at regular intervals throughout the day. The cleanliness of shared workstations and private desks must be given priority so the employees can concentrate on their work. Effective safety signage can also be installed in entry points and common areas to keep your employees well informed and protected.

2. Rethink meeting spaces

Gathering in a small meeting room without proper ventilation will not look good to people anymore as it can increase the risk of being infected. As people return to the office, meeting and conference rooms should be utilized by only half of the people it can accommodate. Other team members can join virtually through communication and videoconferencing platforms.

3. Improve indoor air quality

Aside from close contact with contaminated surfaces and infected people, the coronavirus could spread through airborne particles in indoor environments. Furthermore, small respiratory aerosols are released when people talk or breathe. These aerosols can build up over time in an office or any other enclosed space. Adding UV lights to air handlers can help cleanse the air and destroy bacteria and viruses. Bringing in air through heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems mitigates any contaminant in a space and reduces the exposure of anyone inside.

Long-term Solutions

 

1. Take the office outside

With improved air filtration systems becoming a key strategy to diminish COVID-19 transmission, outdoor workspaces are becoming the new trend. Some organizations have been experimenting with outdoor workspaces to increase employee engagement and offer a change of scenery. After months of working from the comfort of their homes, employees are craving human interactions to be productive. Adding an outdoor workspace can help businesses restore the lost sense of community for remote workers and give them a chance to reconnect with nature and reduce stress levels.

2. Incorporate biophilic design

Increasing the connection between people and nature does not stop in outdoor workspaces. If taking the office outside seems unachievable, you can always enjoy the benefits of nature from inside your office. Incorporating green walls, natural lighting, and lush greeneries in indoor environments can boost creativity levels, increase productivity, and make your office more attractive to potential talent and clients. Additionally, many plants act as natural air purifiers, making them more vital now than ever.

3. Revolutionize office floor plans

As companies reopen their offices, physical distancing and hygiene concerns may prompt overall floor plan designs to be changed. It is possible that businesses shift back to traditional layouts which include cubicles and private offices to encourage social distancing. Other areas to re-examine are shared facilities such as comfort rooms, which employees use over the course of the day. Door-free entrances similar to airport restrooms can be used to reduce the need to touch surfaces and door handles. Correspondingly, other doors in the office can be redesigned with a foot-contact point or an automated or voice-activated technology that allows them to be opened with the wave of a hand or voice command.

4. Touchless Technology

Numerous companies are starting to shift to touchless office innovations, for example, washrooms with motion sensor lights and light-activated hand dryers and sinks. Presently, advances that were viewed as pleasant to-have — from applications on cell phones to control lighting, temperature and AV gear, to elevators that open with corporate identifications — are being added to lessen contact. 

One thing we have all learned while being isolated for almost a year now is that we value human connection and we want to interact with our colleagues physically at work again. When employees return to the office once the coronavirus pandemic eases, their productivity, health, and safety will have to be front and center.

Restructure your workspace to accommodate employees during the pandemic, and plan for this configuration to be flexible and mindful of employee needs and work habits as you make their health a priority. 

The lessons we learn from this experience will help us design new work environments that promote health and wellness as values that are embedded in our office blueprint.

The future of the workplace is not certain, but it’s important to realize that we’re in the midst of a transformation. 

If you’re interested in moving into an office space that has taken health, wellness, and productivity as major factors into how we have transformed our workspaces, get in touch with us! 

 

What Employees Really Want In a Workplace

For many months now we have proven we can easily and efficiently work from home. Focus work and productivity has been reported to be exceptionally effective at home, and remote collaboration also saw an improvement in effectiveness as compared to doing both activities in the office. However, we can’t manage to effectively do all work activities from home. The workplace not only still remains relevant, it may be more important than ever.

 

There’s really something about going to the office to do some work. People want to go to work to work and somehow create a schism between their life at home and life at work. The role of the workplace has transformed since the pandemic impacted our worklife. 

 

According to a survey done by Genslar, “the most important reasons employees see for coming into the office include meetings, socializing, connecting with colleagues, and building community. This underscores the fact that being with colleagues in person is an invaluable part of the workplace experience, as is being part of a community that can’t be replaced virtually while working from home. This is not only changing expectations of how we work, but it’s changing the role of the physical workplace. The post-COVID-19 workplace will shift away from a place where people simply go to work, and into a place where people want to be to meet, socialize, and work with each other. It will shift from a “work” place for individual work to a “convening” place for group work.”

 

The workspace needs to metamorphose according to time and circumstance. These are determined by technology, the state of the economy and life in general. There’s often a disconnect between what employees want and what employers think employees want. 

 

In Vault’s article Top 9 Things Employees Want in a Workplace, According to a New Study, 

 

“The study—conducted by Future Workplace and View, and written about in the Harvard Business Review by Future Workplace Partner Jeane Meister—found that employees care little about Google-like perks such as food trucks, bowling alleys, and craft-beer happy hours, and care a lot about the basics of human survival such as air, light, and water.” 

 

You need to tailor your space based on their basic needs to get work done and how they can work their best. To ensure you are still providing the best and safe space for returning employees amid COVID-19, here are the top things employees really want in an office space:

 

A Physical Office

In a survey for employees across the United States, 83% of the respondents said they wanted to spend some time in an office over working remotely all the time. Most people, especially after all these months in lockdown, want a change of scenery.

From the same survey, more than half wanted private offices, while less than a third wanted an open floor plan and 20% prefer cubicle offices. 

Most employees have assigned spaces. This means companies should provide office space which employees can personalize, if possible.

It’s most likely similar here in Metro Manila. Remote work has so many challenges. There are daily challenges while living in one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Working from home, employees struggle with crying babies, the occasional crowing rooster, neighbors singing karaoke, and every other distraction imaginable

Great Workplace Environment

If companies spent more time investing in improving the workplace environment over perks like onsite gyms and game rooms, productivity will drastically improve. Employees really just want to be able to work without getting distracted. Here are some of the things they want:

Better air quality

In a survey by Future Workplace, 58% of respondents said they wanted fresh, allergen-free air to improve their wellness.

Comfortable (Natural) Light

The same survey also has half of the employees interviewed saying they wanted a view of the outdoors to feel better while working. Employees don’t want to feel boxed in so a view of the outside can improve people’s well-being.

Comfortable Temperature

Employees feel better when the temperature is ideal. This means not feeling like winter is coming. Employees are also less likely to get sick from a freezing workplace. Make sure the room temperature is optimally set. Ask your employees.

Privacy

As the trend towards open offices continued, the more employees realized how much they valued their privacy. While collaboration is certainly appreciated by employees, certain work needs complete focus. The solution is variety. Give employees the ability to choose according to their needs.

Employees want their own personal space more than any other place at the office, but companies need to provide other spaces.

You want to provide a variety of locations:

Personal spaces

These spaces need to feel like a base for your employees in case they need individual time on some work.

Large meeting rooms

For when the teams need to meet or do an activity together.

Collaborative spaces

Open offices can be made for entire floors or per team

Places to relax

Employees also need a space that feels entirely separate from the office while being conveniently located nearby.

Quiet spaces

People need a space for meditation or silence

Open office setups save on costs but usually sacrifice privacy and overall comfort for employees. By bringing back privacy even to open offices, you can achieve the purpose of open offices—increased engagement. Giving employees the option to avoid engagement ultimately makes it their idea when they do choose to be engaged with a coworker. One of the takeaways of the great open office experiment is that balance is the key. It’s about organizing space that encourages a variety of experiences.

Great office design provides escape when employees need it. Employees feel empowered by management to make their own decisions, even on how and where they work.

Less Distractions

Another known issue with open office design can be visual noise. Even when you find a quiet spot to work, you can get distracted by activity in your periphery. You need an office design that helps you focus.

There’s also actual noise, which is a common issue for employees. Noise distractions impact employees’ ability to concentrate. Some of these distractions are ringing phones, typing on keyboards, and coworkers talking.

Ask CEOs what the single most important leadership skill is and they’ll tell you: Creativity. The business world is consumer-driven and each day requires problem-solving, iteration and ideation. But these distractions get in the way of creativity and innovation.

Noise control is vital to designing a great workspace. You want to avoid hearing unwanted chatter as you’re trying to meet a deadline. At Arch Offices, we’ve carefully designed serviced offices that meet the criteria, helping clients get work done.

People-centric Office Design

Workspaces need to be catered to the people who will use them. The office needs to motivate and inspire employees. It needs to feel conducive to focus and productivity. Our office spaces in Makati are designed to be just that—flexible and customizable according to how people want to work. Some want to work on their own, others in small teams, and still others in large teams.

Chances to Collaborate

Now more than ever, businesses see the advantages of connecting outside the workplace. “Premium” coworking is trending in large companies for several reasons. It is catering to established professionals and companies that aim to keep their offices small, as well as innovative business owners that see the value of exposing their employees to outside people.

The coworking trend was pioneered by startups that wanted to share space (and cut costs) with other companies. Now, corporations are investing in coworking too. Coworking is now a part of a larger movement for creating spaces where people feel more connected, healthier, and happier.

People Can Thrive in a Workplace That Meets Their Needs

While work from home has proven to be feasible, we cannot completely remove the importance of the workplace. Most employees still want to go to work to a physical space. Companies have to design a workplace that all their employees both in-office and remote, that can cater to their different work needs given the many changes in the way we work. 

As business owners and managers, we need to provide spaces, both open spaces or private offices that help employees get things done. This also means providing personal spaces, coworking spaces, and even quiet rooms while considering a safe workplace for employees during the pandemic. 

Employees will appreciate it when you offer their own space to work. The best workplace is one where people can do their jobs well and with minimal stress and distractions. 

Do you want to find the ideal workspace in the best location that you and your team will love to come to every day? Get in touch with us.

The New Normal of Workspaces: How ARCH Offices Reinvented their Spaces amid COVID-19

Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels                                                                                                            

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has upended our lives in general—disrupting our routines, affecting our jobs and businesses. The global pandemic has altered how and where we work, making us rethink the future of office spaces. With our current situation, the way we design workspaces will never be the same again. COVID-19 has created the need for a faster than anticipated transformation for our workspaces; one that shall ensure a safe and efficient work environment for employees returning to work amid the pandemic. At the end of the day, we must adapt and roll in with the punches to thrive in the post COVID-19 world.

While the pandemic has posed a challenge for everyone to adapt to the new normal, the role of the office environment is more important than ever. 

Here are five key features of the workplace amid COVID-19:

 

1. Well-implemented Social Distancing Protocols 

COVID-19 safety measures require greater physical separation in workplaces via spatial means. To ensure proper distancing between co-workers, workstations should be spaced further apart. Sensible strategies include putting up barriers, moving desks apart, and decreasing chairs. Seating arrangements should also be spaced accordingly, making sure that employees are avoiding close contact. The same measures apply to conference rooms as meetings shall be limited in the number of participants, duration, and proximity. Most importantly, physical distancing should be observed at all times—even in elevators, cafeterias, and restrooms.

2. Enhanced Disinfection Efforts 

The key to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace is to implement regular cleaning schedules and enhanced sanitation measures. If feasible, business owners can also invest in automated systems like motion-sensor doors and faucets. We want to avoid touching potentially unclean surfaces as much as possible, especially for offices in cities like Makati that rely on public transportation. By eliminating the need to touch surfaces, members and guests will feel more comfortable getting in our offices.

3. Installation of Sanitation Facilities 

To make people feel more secure, offices are highly encouraged to equip certain areas of the workplace with sanitation products such as hands-free soap dispensers, complimentary face masks and paper tissues, disinfecting mats, and automatic hand sanitizers.

4. Improved Workstation Designs 

There are alternative ways to reinvent serviced office layouts in order to make physical distancing feel more comfortable. Adding new elements to workstations like glass is one option. Conference rooms can also be redesigned to create a more flexible working environment. If your office has narrow hallways, you can turn some of them into one-way only corridors if possible. In preparation for future disruptions similar to COVID-19, we will need to future-proof our offices with adaptable furniture, antimicrobial appliances, and technology that limit touching.

5. Display of Signages and Reminders 

One of the best ways to properly maintain safety protocols is to set up visual aids. Display posters about proper handwashing procedures and measures on how to reduce the risk of virus in visible areas of the workplace to raise awareness. Floor stickers are also effective to ensure that everyone is keeping proper social distance. For one-way entry and exit points, clear signages and markings are vital. Apart from floor decals, you may also opt for directional arrows displayed eye-level at the walls or doors of the office.

 

As we adjust and reconfigure serviced offices to cater to the post COVID-19 environment and ensure a safe workplace for our members, we have started to implement temporary changes that will secure the safety of our members. Here’s how we made our office spaces safe and secure during the pandemic:

Watch Our Video: How we are making our offices safe

 

 

1. Health and sanitation protocols upon entry

Everyone will be subject to health and sanitation procedures before entering our premises. There are sanitizing footbath mats ready at the entrance to disinfect footwear and body temperature will be checked upon entry. Everyone will also be required to answer the DOH Health Checklist first before finally being granted access to our office spaces.

2. Regular disinfection of common touch points

We established new protocols and amplified cleaning schedules to make sure that high-touch surfaces and common areas are sanitized regularly. Our disinfection and sanitation efforts focus on workstations, countertops, and door handles, among others. If necessary, there will also be immediate COVID-19 disinfection provided for objects or corners in the workplace that may likely be touched or visited by a person who is suspected or confirmed to have the virus.

3. Contactless hand sanitizers in common areas

Automatic hand sanitizers are located at entry and exit points, as well as other common areas. We have utilized some of the desks and corners in our office spaces as hand sanitation stations to help promote proper hygiene and most importantly, reduce the risk of infection among co-workers.

4. Visual sanitation reminders and signages

We posted signs and reminders in prominent places around the workplace to increase awareness and help our community observe proper health protocols. Some of the signages we displayed include COVID-19 hotlines, proper handwashing procedures, guidelines for occupying meeting rooms and other common areas, safety measures for using appliances, and instructions on how to use RFIDs safely, among others.

5. Proper observation and implementation of social distancing protocols

We have implemented movement restrictions and physical distancing measures to ensure minimal physical contact within the workplace. We have also established safety protocols in accordance with health and safety guidelines. Two-meter distance between workstations and seats in common areas are properly observed to avoid close contact between co-workers. As the national and local governments continuously implement new health guidelines for the public, our community assures to follow the standards to create a safe space for our members and clients.

The changes in the work environment may feel strange at first, with co-workers separated by partitions and avoiding physical contact. “New normal” can mean differently in a lot of ways for all of us, but we know for sure that the pandemic has changed the workplace forever. The challenge ahead of us is to make our work environments even better than before. These enhancements are ever-evolving, keeping pace with changing health guidelines as well as member needs. But one thing remains a constant at ARCH Serviced Offices: We are focused on providing you with a safe and secure office space so you can continue to create your best work. As we continuously reinvent office spaces for the better, we aim to ensure a safe working environment and improved level of wellbeing for our members. 

If you’re interested in leasing or renting an office space at this time and want to learn more about our safety measures, please get in touch and email us at hello@archoffices.com.

 

6 Ways to Manage Workplace Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic

Image courtesy of Ivan Samkov from Pexels

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caught everyone off guard—from small and medium-sized enterprises and startups to business owners and employees. As companies began to resume operations in the wake of the global health crisis, their entire workforce is reintegrated and employees are gradually returning to the office with safety measures in place. Most employees are going back after working from home, while some are coming from a much needed furlough.

In any case, these varying work experiences have the potential for stirring up tension and anxiety. Reentering the workplace after a global pandemic such as the coronavirus is a first for all of us. But there are ways on how you can manage your stress and boost your productivity, and such measures can also help you build mental resilience and adjust to the new normal with less anxiety.

6 Ways to Manage Workplace Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Jeffrey Czum from Pexels

List Down Priorities for the Day

As you go back to work, prioritization will be crucial than ever. Start off your day by listing down your to-dos according to their level of importance. But with nonstop emails from your superior and ad hoc tasks coming up every once in a while, deciding what deserves your full attention can become overwhelming. Nonetheless, the benefits of mastering prioritization can change your life. Knowing which tasks to focus on can reduce stress, improve time management and productivity, and even help you strike a healthy work-life balance as you create better boundaries during your workday. A study by researchers at Florida State University found that being committed to a specific goal makes it easier to focus your brain solely on the task at hand. Once you know how to prioritize both your time and tasks, you realize that much of the work that seemed urgent at first does not really need your attention—at least not right away.

Practice Soothing Activities During Commute

Making your way to the office can either be an opportunity to find momentary solitude or a source of stress. Before heading to work, prepare a comforting playlist. When you are taking public transportation, catch up on your favorite book or watch Netflix on your phone. If you are walking to work, take a moment to look around and appreciate the sights. A study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that adding moments of leisure to your day can reduce both your brain’s and body’s response to stress, thus decreasing heart rate as well as improving your mood and overall well-being.

Share Key Takeaways

Every one of us has definitely learned a thing or two in the last five months. Whether it is finding out about our most productive time of the day or learning about new organization techniques, these key takeaways might just be as helpful to your colleagues as well. You can incorporate these lessons that you have uncovered during the lockdown to accommodate changing workplace needs and improve efficiency. Apart from that, these exchanges of information can lead to increased performance and improved decision-making.

Reintroduce Team Building Activities

You may have tried virtual team building activities with your remote team to boost morale and chill out after a long day of work. It could have been in the form of thrilling games, happy hour, or simply just a fun chitchat to cultivate a sense of community despite the distance and situation. These team building activities can help combat loneliness and isolation, especially in the case of remote workers. While a skeletal workforce is being implemented in most companies nowadays, you can suggest having contactless in-person activities to get everyone back in sync and regain a sense of belonging.

Be Open About Your Well-being Goals

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected our physical and mental well-being, thus forcing us to acknowledge that we must also prioritize our self to unlock our full potential. While most of us are returning to the workplace, some might still be going through some significant physical and emotional impacts of the unfortunate situation. Carving out time for a focus group discussion or one-on-one with your superior or colleague to lay down your well-being goals is essential in fostering accountability and encouragement.

Put Away Devices Before You Sleep

Poor sleeping habits lead to higher levels of anxiety. Checking your phone or laptop and browsing through social media for news updates can trigger fears especially in times of crisis, resulting in lack of sleep. Not only can it stimulate our brain and make it hard to wind down, the light from the screen can also suppress the natural production of melatonin, a hormone that the body makes to help us sleep. Moreover, a study by the European Sleep Research Society found that sleep impacts our ability to pick up on other people’s emotions. By putting away your devices hours before going to bed, you can sleep better and be your most compassionate self.

6 Ways to Manage Workplace Stress During COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Andrew Neel from Pexels

Totally eliminating stress from our lives is impossible, but we can learn to manage and adapt to the changes. We may be dealing with stressors we have never even experienced before as we return to work. But when we discover the root cause of our stress, how we respond to it, and what helps us recharge, we can be in a position to prevent any imminent issues that may affect our productivity.

ARCH Offices Opens Its Newest Premium Office Space at NEX Tower

Following the launch of its fourth space at Pacific Star, ARCH Offices has just inaugurated its first ever premium-grade office space located at the gleaming NEX Tower along Ayala Avenue in Makati City.

Strategically located in the heart of the central business district where a competitive environment for thriving startups continues to rise, ARCH Offices’ newest premium space offering at NEX Tower is ideal for businesses that want to make a mark in their respective industries.

ARCH Offices - NEX Tower - Lobby - ARCH Offices opens its newest premium office space at NEX Tower - Blog

A striking presence in Metro Manila’s most dynamic and creative district

NEX Tower has 38,000 square meters of top-grade office space and is a few minutes’ walk from major transportation hubs, numerous bus routes, major arterial roads, as well as the biggest and most prestigious shopping malls in the country. Behind the tower is the eclectic neighborhood of Legazpi Village which is home to several food spots, cocktail bars, and local upscale restaurants.

The building sits along Ayala Avenue which is recognized as the “Wall Street of the Philippines.” A quality arrival will welcome tenants and visitors in a soaring lobby that has been designed with security and efficient circulation in mind. Two elevator banks with a total of 15 lifts, including the retail podium elevator, provide ample provision to decrease waiting times. There is a terrace with lush planting for breakout working and informal meetings. For tenants and visitors arriving by car, the tower offers seven levels of parking with 384 bays.

ARCH NEX Tower - Meeting Room 1

All-inclusive business amenities catered to you

Our top-notch amenities were designed with the needs of our partners in mind—workspaces where they can innovate and collaborate, and services that include high-speed Internet, first-rate IT support, transformative working areas, as well as Plug & Play and turnkey office solutions. Our team of experts and trained professionals are available on-site 24/6 should you require any assistance for a seamless transition.

The spacious private offices and open workspace areas were purposefully designed to make guests feel at home, productive, and innovative all at once. Members are given access to work booths and meeting rooms where they can collaborate with their team. The pantry is also stocked with free snacks and beverages not only to satisfy your cravings and coffee fix, but also to keep you energized throughout the day.

Take a tour of our newest premium office space here!

ARCH Offices - Private Offices - ARCH Offices opens its newest premium office space at NEX Tower - Blog

Designed for productivity and collaboration

Our premier office space in NEX Tower comprises high-end amenities that guests can indulge themselves in. The space boasts a welcoming, elegant reception that gives people a hint of the stylish work environment and state-of-the-art facilities that await. Japanese minimalist design was incorporated into the space, boasting a modern yet minimal look, and at the same time complementing the muted earth tones that create a warm and soothing vibe. This color scheme is a great match for light ash wood finishes as well as compact and lightweight furniture.

This style, at its heart, is a combination of functionality, simplicity, and a variety of off-whites, sepias, and wood tones that work well together and radiate a homey work environment. The entire office has perfectly planned zones that ensure comfort of work in various conditions—from team meetings and focus rooms to lounge work areas and coworking tables.

Fused with lush greenery, wall murals of tropical plants, and a mixture of natural and artificial lighting, our space generates a positive effect on the well-being, fosters engagement, and drives productivity for individuals and teams to create their best work.

ARCH Offices - Working Bar Area - NEX Tower

Legazpi Village: a terrific mix of art, dynamism, and stillness

The building nestles in the energetic neighborhood of Legazpi Village, which is a hipper and younger counterpart to Salcedo Village. It is a haven for foodies and a watering hole for night owls who want to blow off steam after a hectic day at work. The community is just a walking distance from Makati’s main thoroughfares and commercial establishments. There are different banks and ATMs where you can withdraw and deposit money with ease. Drugstores and convenience stores are also well spread out across the neighborhood for your daily essentials.

Despite it being in the heart of the business district, one-way roads and lush greeneries make it a great place to walk around in. Washington SyCip Park, a flourishing oasis amidst the metro’s busiest districts, is a paradise for people who want to unwind and get some peace of mind. Sculptures and classical music playing from hidden speakers positioned around the park are a gift to the sight and ears of those walking by. Every weekend, the Legazpi Sunday Market opens its doors to blossoming entrepreneurs who set up stalls with artisan crafts so folks can dine and shop while chitchatting and making friends—all in one warm and friendly venue. Educational pillars like the Asian Institute of Management and other international schools that are found in the village contribute to its youthful vibe, apart from the younger urban professionals who work in the area.

ARCH NEX Tower - Open Area 3

The coronavirus pandemic presents a unique challenge for all industries and businesses across the globe. We want to ensure everyone that ARCH Offices is continually monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is adhering to protocols set by local health authorities. As we tread this health crisis, we are taking the necessary steps to protect the well-being of our community. Watch our safety measures video!

Check out more photos of our newest premium office space here. Choose the right office space that your team deserves. Get in touch with us at hello@archoffices.com so we can arrange an exclusive sneak peek for you!

Return-to-Work Guide for Employees During COVID-19

Image courtesy of Kate Trifo from Pexels

 

Months after the world was struck by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus still poses major health, social, and economic risks. Businesses around the world are slowly getting back up on their feet amidst the unfavorable prevailing situation. Most companies have asked their employees to continue working from home, especially those who are comfortable and do not have any issues with collaboration and productivity.

As cities have begun to lift lockdown restrictions in the last few weeks, companies find it very essential to impose effective safety and health precautions before they allow their teams to return to the workplace. For employees, leaving the comfort of their home is a tough choice while the virus is still out there.

While businesses are taking precautionary measures to protect your health and well-being, you have to make sure you are doing your part by adhering to the policies and strategies in place. Look out for yourself and your loved ones by making a few changes to your office routine to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Face Mask - Safety Tips for Returning Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Before You Head Out

We have to admit that our usual outfit of the day or #ootd will no longer be the same. Before you leave home, check your local government and health authorities’ official website for possible travel restrictions that are aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 among cities. Be sure to check your temperature twice a day and be on the lookout for respiratory symptoms. If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible and isolate yourself for two weeks.

  • Leave jewelry and other nonessential accessories at home.
  • If you have long hair, keep it pulled back and securely fastened.
  • Instead of contact lenses, consider wearing glasses to avoid touching your face. Eyeglasses also serve as protection against droplets of sneeze or cough that may contain the virus.
  • Prepare clean clothes and shoes you can change into after work. If possible, bring them to the office.
  • Pack enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and keep it within reach.
  • If you are bringing your own car, get rid of nonessential items and instead, have disinfecting wipes available to wipe down high-touch surfaces.
  • Make sure that you sanitize your driving wheel and door latch regularly.
  • Wear a face mask.

COVID-19 Public Transportation - Safety Tips for Returning Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog- ARCH Offices

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In Transit

While traveling, it is important to remember that maintaining a 6-foot distance away from other people decreases your chances of getting infected and infecting others. Everyone has a responsibility to keep themselves and others safe from the virus. Always take into account the risks associated with different types of travel. You will be fine if you keep your distance and take all the necessary precautions.

  • Avoid frequent touchpoints.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Use your shoulder to push doors open.
  • Avoid crowded areas and mass gatherings.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after touching potentially contaminated surfaces such as door latches or railings.
  • Steer clear of crowded public transports such as buses and jeepneys, especially if they are not following safety protocols.
  • If at all possible, switch to e-payments for using public transport.

ARCH Offices - Working Bar - Safety Tips for Returning Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog - ARCH Offices

ARCH Offices – NEX Tower

At Work

Make sure you are well aware of all the COVID-19 policies at your workplace and keep track of daily updates from your immediate supervisor or team leader. Should you feel that your safety is compromised due to violation of physical distancing rules or lack of safety measures, inform the administration right away.

  • As soon as you arrive in the office, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering every surface of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Always keep your face mask on.
  • Avoid handshakes, high-fives, hugs, or any other physical contact with your colleagues. Stick to contactless greetings.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow if in case you are not wearing a face mask.
  • When eating, place your mask on a clean paper towel then store it in a clean paper bag.
  • If you must use the elevator, maintain physical distance and keep a toothpick handy to push the buttons. Discard immediately after use.
  • Avoid sitting in cramped spaces like meeting rooms or the cafeteria with your colleagues.
  • When using office utilities such as the coffee machine or the printer, make sure you sanitize your hands before and after use.
  • Sanitize or wash your hands before and after using the comfort room.
  • If a colleague is feeling unwell, inform your immediate supervisor or team leader right away.

Washing Hands - Safety Tips for Returning Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Blog - ARCH Offices

Source: Burst from Pexels

Upon Arriving Home

While it is critical to follow safety measures at work, it is equally important to eliminate any risk of transmission upon returning home. Think about any possible risk you may have encountered throughout the day. Did you come in contact with some people during your commute? Always bear in mind the safety precautions you can take to protect your family and reduce your chances of being infected.

  • Take off your shoes outside your home. Clean them with disinfecting wipes.
  • Dispose of your mask properly. If it is made of cloth, wash it thoroughly with warm water and bleach solution. Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
  • Disinfect your phone, wallet, eyeglasses, and any work supplies. Leave what you can at work.
  • Wash your hands and arms thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds before you touch anyone or anything.
  • Put your used clothes in a separate laundry basket or directly into the washing machine.
  • If you are working in a high-risk environment or you think you may have come in contact with a COVID-19 suspect, take a bath as soon as you reach home.
  • Disinfect and sanitize high-touch surfaces in your home regularly such as doorknobs, light switches, tables, handles, counter tops, faucets, appliances, etc.

 

The best way to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 is to avoid exposure, maintain physical distancing, and wash your hands regularly. If you start feeling unwell and believe you might have contracted the virus, isolate yourself from your family and call your local healthcare provider immediately. Always be cautions and follow these safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe despite the threat of coronavirus.