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Is remote working here to stay after COVID-19?

Woman working remotely from her sofa

After a year of many office employees working from home, it has become the norm for us to conduct important meetings over video calls, send our co-workers an email or instant message when we need to ask them a question and eat lunch by ourselves at our kitchen tables. However, with the UK now starting to open up again after lockdown, could this be the end of the traditional office and the start of a primarily remote workforce? Even with the benefits working from home can bring, we’re not so sure.

Remote working isn’t a new concept and it was growing in popularity before the pandemic struck. In fact, during 2019, 5.1% of the UK population worked from home compared to 4.3% in 2015, with more and more businesses offering this as a perk in an effort to attract new talent and retain them.

Many business’ attitudes to remote work have substantially changed over the past year, with it teaching them that employees don’t need to be sat in their physical office in order to be productive at work. For this reason, JP Morgan, HSBC, Dropbox and Microsoft are just some of the large organisations that have said that some or all of their staff can continue to work from home permanently – even when social distancing is no longer required.

So, does this mean that smaller businesses should also follow suit?

Remote working is a perk that many employees have enjoyed during lockdown due to the time and money saved from not having to travel into an office 5 days a week. Not only that, but they have been given the freedom to work at a pace that suits them. No person is 100% productive during every hour of the working day – and when inspiration dwindles, your employees likely feel more comfortable stepping away from their desk and clearing their head in the comfort of their own homes.

However, we don’t think the pandemic and the ways we have had to adapt signal the end of the physical workplace. Instead, many companies will move towards offering flexible working to their employees, rather than having every one of them solely working from home.

This means that going forward, a large proportion of employees will likely spend a combination of their time doing their job from home and from the office, as well as having more control over the hours they work.

Why ‘remote working’ will become ‘flexible working’

Believe it or not, not every employee enjoys working from their sofa and wants homeworking to become the new normal – full-time, at least. According to a survey of 1,000 people conducted by Envoy and Wakefield Research in 2020, after COVID, 94% of employees want to work from the office at least once a week. You may also be surprised to learn that 46% of those surveyed said that five days was the ideal number of days to spend in the office!

The survey found various reasons for this, such as people missing going out for lunch instead of making it for themselves, and being able to spend time away from their families who can cause a distraction when working from home. However, the main thing that employees said they missed was face-to-face interactions with their co-workers.

Employees talking during meeting

Before the pandemic, it was normal for us to spend most of our time with our colleagues each week. We’d often grab lunch with them, attend meetings together, and have chats throughout the day as we worked from the same office. For those that live alone, seeing their team at work may be the only time they interact with someone face-to-face for days or even weeks, which can be a lonely experience.

Seeing your team members regularly also helps you build stronger relationships with them – and being friends with the people we work with can be massive morale and productivity boosters as this is proven to increase engagement levels. Additionally, if your staff feel comfortable confiding in each other when they’re experiencing issues, such as struggling with their workload or getting a particular piece of work completed, they can reduce stress and get their worries solved faster. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all – and sharing these conversations in person can feel much less formal than over a video call.

For these reasons, instead of a shift to full-time remote work, we predict that flexible working will become more prevalent and desired by employees.

How to enable flexible working

For many businesses, offering flexible working isn’t as simple as telling your employees to work whenever they want. It’s still important that there are overlaps between when your team members are ‘in the office’ (whether physically or virtually) for communication and productivity to remain high. For example, it’s advised to have core working hours that everyone in the business must adhere to each day (such as between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM on Monday to Friday), with any meetings being held in this time window.

With some meetings requiring face-to-face interactions, and many workers missing watercooler chats, you may want to offer employees the opportunity to work from home a few times a week, with the ability to change which days these are each week.

One way you can ensure that everything runs smoothly when managing a flexible working team is by investing in the right digital tools to help everyone stay connected. For example, Ayoa is a work management app that is perfect for distributed workers to collaborate together on projects and keep track of when their colleagues are available. Using Ayoa’s team pulse dashboard, your employees can add updates when they start work and clock off for the day, as well as give a brief overview of what they’re currently working on – so everyone is kept in the loop no matter where they are.

Employees working in Tec Marina office

You should also make sure that your physical office space is set up to offer flexible working as staff should be able to enter and leave the premises at different times of the day without compromising your security. If you rent your office space, make sure to check this with the owner of your building to see if this is possible.

Looking for a new office in South Wales? Tec Marina is located just outside Cardiff, in the beautiful location of Penarth Marina, and is already set up for you to provide increased flexibility to your team. As well as offering 24/7 access to the building for residents, our friendly reception team will be on hand to handle your mail when you’re not in the office, as well as help you with anything else you need.

Our fully serviced offices are also regularly cleaned and include access to a free onsite gym, rentable meeting rooms and well-stocked kitchen areas, plus our building is a short walk from Cogan train station and a free public car park. To find out more about our available office space, give us a call on 02921 678391 or email contact@tecmarina.com.

Why should I choose an office in Cardiff?

View of offices in Cardiff city centre from castle grounds

When searching for an office in the UK for your startup, London might be the first and most obvious choice – but is it necessarily the best one for your business? If you’re keen to reap the benefits of being based in a bustling city centre, but want to forgo the increased competition, high costs and busy commutes that being in London brings with it, then the Welsh capital of Cardiff is a great alternative city to set up a business.

Since being crowned the capital of Wales in 1955, Cardiff has become one of the coolest places to live in Britain, with it being placed at number 7 on Condé Nast Traveller’s ranking of the best UK cities in 2020 – and this is due to factors such as its great restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and the friendliness of the locals. Cardiff is also a blossoming tech centre that attracts exciting new businesses and hungry young talent from all over the UK, making it an exciting place for modern companies to put down their roots.

However, if you need more convincing of why this small but mighty city is such a great place to live, work and play, check out our round-up of the top reasons why you should choose to set up your office in Cardiff below.

It has great transport links

Thanks to its more compact size (being considerably smaller than other popular UK cities, such as London, Birmingham and Edinburgh), it’s extremely easy to get around Cardiff. Many of its key attractions are a short journey from each other (such as the main city centre and Cardiff Bay), plus there are regular bus and train services, and a total of 20 railway stations located in the city for those that don’t drive. There’s also plenty of cycle routes – in fact, Cardiff was named the best city for cyclists in a poll last year.

View of Cardiff city centre from the bay

Based in South Wales, Cardiff is also a great commuter city if you do need to travel to London or other key towns and cities in the UK. It’s actually located on the M4 corridor, which connects the fellow Welsh city of Swansea to Cardiff, as well as Newport, Bristol, Bath, Reading, Swindon, London and other popular business and tech hubs.

There’s a lot to see and do

Life is never boring in Cardiff, with it being famed for its fantastic choice of shops and attractions to visit, such as the Museum of Cardiff, Cardiff Castle and St Fagans – and this isn’t forgetting its many great restaurants, coffee shops, and cocktail bars! As well as all your favourite chains that you’d expect to see in the city, from Costa Coffee and Starbucks, to Bill’s and Miller and Carter, there are some great independent eateries dotted around the city too. So, whether your staff are looking for a place to grab lunch quickly, have after-work drinks together, or even hold a casual meeting, there’s plenty of options to choose from nearby.

It’s full of green spaces

For an urban city, Cardiff is surprisingly green – which is good news as living and working near parks and other green spaces have been proven to boost our health and happiness by giving us places to exercise and socialise in the fresh air. Not only that, but plants also reduce pollution. Sophia Gardens, Roath Park, Bute Park and Llandaff Fields are just some of the beautiful parks located in the city – there’s also the popular Cardiff Marina and Taff Trail which are perfect for your employees to take a casual stroll or run along during their lunch break.

View of river and greenery in Cardiff park

It has a wide talent pool

Despite its relatively small size, there are a number of universities with campuses in the city of Cardiff, including Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Wales – and around 70,000 students study at these institutions. With many individuals choosing to settle down in the town or city of their university after graduating, or even completing work placements at local companies alongside their studies, Wales’ capital city has plenty of hungry young talent to help you grow your business.

As a matter of fact, Meanwhile Creative reported last year that 48% of Cardiff’s population (69% of which are of working age) are qualified to NVQ4+. This is not only higher than the average for the rest of Wales (at 35.15%), but the rest of the UK (which is 38.4%). Cardiff was ranked 36 out of 90 cities in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018.

Why choose our serviced offices in Cardiff?

Being just a short drive, train journey or cycle ride away from Cardiff’s city centre, our home of Tec Marina in Penarth is the perfect location for any startup that wants to experience any of the benefits of being a new business in Wales’ thriving, talent-filled capital city.

Located on the outskirts of Cardiff, next to the stunning Penarth Marina, Tec Marina offers great views, as well as fully furnished offices complete with 1Gb fibre-optic broadband and reliable IT support, rentable meeting rooms, an onsite gym, colourful kitchens fully stocked with all the tea and coffee your team could want, a spacious atrium, and a friendly reception team that are here to help you with anything you need.

bird's-eye view of the atrium in Tec Marina's Cardiff offices

Our building is also compliant with current COVID-19 guidelines to help keep our residents and visitors safe, has secure onsite bike racks, and is near a free public car park and Cogan railway station, making it extremely easy for commuters.

Want to book a free viewing or simply find out more about our current available office space in Cardiff? Email us at contact@tecmarina.com or give us a call on 02921 678391.

How to encourage a healthy workplace

Woman stretching outside

With the vaccination rollout currently in full swing throughout the UK and plenty of buzz being generated about how Wales might exit lockdown once and for all, many of us are hopeful that our employees will soon be able to return to the office in the near future – in some capacity, at least. Although there is still some time to go, preparing early will ensure that nothing gets missed when it comes to creating a safe and healthy workplace.

Obviously, your first priority before your employees return to the office should be checking that it is compliant with any new COVID-19 measures that are in place during that time. However, you should also be actively taking other steps to encourage your workplace to be more healthy. This isn’t just in terms of your team members’ physical health, but their mental well-being too.

In fact, even if you and your employees haven’t been directly affected by the virus, it’s likely that the pandemic has still affected your mental and physical health. With gyms and leisure centres being closed for much of the past year, many of us are exercising less – and although people in Wales are allowed to leave the house for exercise in lockdown, motivation to do so remains low for many of us.

In fact, there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate the negative effect the pandemic is having on the mental health of many people, with one study in the UK concluding that between spring 2018 and spring 2020, rates of mental distress in the general population increased from 18.8% to 27.3%.

So, what steps can you take to encourage a healthy workplace not just in lockdown, but when your staff have returned to the office for good?

Promote healthy eating

A shared fruit bowl might be out of the window right now (especially if your team is still working remotely), but that doesn’t mean that you still can’t encourage them to swap the biscuits with a healthier alternative! There are a number of services you can use to get healthy snack boxes sent directly to your employees while they work from home. This is sure to be appreciated by staff who will feel valued and as though their company has gone the extra mile to look after their general health and well-being.

Close-up of fruit bowl

Encourage workers to stand more

Whether people are working from home or in the office, it’s not uncommon for many to feel guilty for stepping away from their desk too often during the working day. Despite this, health experts have stressed for many years that you shouldn’t remain seated for too long (as a matter of fact, the maximum amount of time should be a period of 30 minutes). With this in mind, you should be educating your workforce on the importance of stretching their legs, making it clear that they should be taking regular breaks throughout the working day to do so – even if this is only to walk to the kettle and back!

Get your workforce exercising!

Although this tip may be difficult to put into practice currently, offering discounted (or even free) gym memberships to your employees won’t just help them to feel appreciated, but because you have contributed towards their membership, they will be more inclined to visit the gym and get active. However, if this just isn’t feasible for your business right now, another great option is to allocate a set amount of time (such as one afternoon each month) for workers to focus on their fitness. This could be used to go for a solo walk, run or bike ride, or even to exercise with others on their team (if this is permitted by social distancing rules, of course)!

Onsite gym at Tec Marina's serviced offices

Check-in with employees regularly

Isolation and plans being cancelled due to the pandemic aren’t the only things that can have a negative effect on the mental health of your workers. Factors such as unmanageable workloads, unrealistic deadlines and feeling as though they don’t have a great relationship with those they work with can all lead to stress – and ultimately, burnout – which isn’t great for anyone’s health. Particularly during this difficult time, managers should be arranging regular one on one meetings with their team members to check how they’re feeling and whether they need any additional help and support. This can be done in person or a video call, depending on what the COVID-19 guidelines are at that time.

Offer ‘mental health days’

If someone on your team wasn’t able to focus on their work due to feeling physically unwell, you wouldn’t ask them to work regardless – so why shouldn’t the same rule apply when it comes to how they feel mentally? After all, sometimes, we simply can’t face the day – and that’s perfectly okay. This is why more and more organizations are now allocating a certain number of days (which are completely separate from their regular annual leave allowances) for their staff to take the day off and focus on themselves when needed. If possible, this is something your company should be offering too.

Looking to relocate for your team’s return to the office?

Choosing the right working environment can have a substantial effect on your employees’ health and well-being, making them happier and more productive. So, before they make their formal return to the office (whether full-time or part-time), could now be the perfect time to relocate to a new office that your team will love spending their time in?

Boat in Tec Marina atrium

If you’re looking for a new office in South Wales, Tec Marina (located near the beautiful Penarth Marina) is designed to inspire creativity and well-being. As well as having a free onsite gym for all residents to use, secured bike storage, colourful kitchens with all the free tea and coffee you could want, and a bright, open atrium with plenty of room to relax and hold meetings, our offices are fully serviced and furnished with everything you need. We have also taken all the necessary steps required to keep our residents and visitors safe from COVID-19, such as making it easy to adhere to social distancing guidelines, putting up screens between the seating in our atrium and installing automatic hand sanitising stations throughout the building.

Want to find out more about Tec Marina or book a viewing with a member of our team? Give us a call on 02921 678391 or email us at contact@tecmarina.com.

The most sought-after employee perks your business should be offering in 2021

Employees working together in office

For many years, salary hasn’t been the most important part of a job description; instead, offering the right employee benefits can mean the difference between attracting the right talent that will grow with your business and your vacancies not remaining filled for long. Although last year brought plenty of uncertainty that has sadly continued into 2021, one thing that has changed is the needs and expectations of employees – and as a result, the workplace perks they expect to be offered.

2020 was a difficult and confusing time for most of us, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic causing a sudden shakeup in the way we work and communicate with our family, friends and coworkers. As a result of our usual face-to-face chats in the office largely being replaced with instant messages, emails and video meetings for much of the year, in 2021, a bigger emphasis needs to be placed on offering employee benefits that boost morale and well-being.

According to a recent study from Perkbox, the most sought-after workplace perk in 2021 will be employee discounts (on things such as supermarket shops and meals out), with over 50% of UK workers admitting that this benefit would make the largest difference to their happiness and well-being. Although this is something that may be difficult for every business to offer due to the current climate and logistics involved, there are plenty of other highly sought after perks that you can start working into your employee benefits packages now…

Remote and flexible working

Even before COVID-19 temporarily changed life as we know it, flexible working ranked highly on the list of the most sought-after perks of the job. In fact, 59% of respondents of a 2018 survey from TotalJobs said that this would be the most important benefit to them when looking for a new role. With statistics from the ONS showing that last April, 46.6% of UK workers carried out some of their work at home, it’s likely that your employees did the same – and that they may be continuing to work remotely now that the UK is back in lockdown.

Flexible working is a great morale and productivity booster, improving our work-life balance and allowing us to choose to complete our most pressing tasks when we’re at our most productive and focused. In 2020, many employees proved that they can be equally as productive when working from home as they did from the office, so you should continue to offer increased flexibility around working hours and location – even when social distancing and lockdowns have become a thing of the past.

How to offer this perk: If remote working is something that your organisation is still struggling to adapt to, investing in team collaboration software can help your employees to stay on the same page when working together remotely. Having 24-hour access to your workplace can also enable you to give them greater freedom around when they choose to work when they are in the office.

Greater recognition

We all want to be recognised for doing a good job – it can be a great morale booster, as feeling valued for the effort we put into our work encourages us to work even harder. Perkbox’s survey found that behind employee discounts, ‘greater recognition’ ranked as the second most desired employee benefit with 42% of people admitting that it would make them happier at work. Sadly, this is something that may have fallen to the wayside if your team is currently distributed across different kitchens, spare rooms and home offices.

How to offer this perk: It’s easy to say a quick ‘thank you’ to your teammate for a job well done when they’re sitting right next to you or even show your appreciation by bringing treats into the office for everyone to share. With the amount we interact with our colleagues falling as a result of working from home, managers should be scheduling regular 1-2-1s with the members of their team over a video call. This gives them the opportunity to check how they’re feeling and highlight any work that they’re particularly happy with. Offering early finishes or extra time off is also an easy and effective way to reward employees who are working remotely.

Additional (or unlimited) holidays

Yep, even with most of us having many of our plans cancelled and less events to fill our spare time in 2020, 41% of UK employees said that having unlimited or a greater amount of annual leave would make them happier in their job this year. The Perkbox survey also found that 35% of employees believed that being able to have time off for their mental health (known as ‘mental health days’) would be the most beneficial to their well-being in 2021.

With the effects of the pandemic still being felt (and likely to be felt for many months to come), taking care of your employees’ mental health and well-being is now more important than ever before. It’s easy for the lines between your working hours and your free time to blur into one when you’re working from home without the change of location. For many of us, the commute home 5 evenings a week is usually a great time to switch off from work. Instead, this has been replaced with simply shutting down our laptops and walking into another room in our home.

How to offer this perk: This really is as simple as it sounds – by looking at the current amount of annual leave you offer your employees and determining if you are able to add on a few extra days. If this is already pretty high, you can put a spin on this benefit by giving employees a day off for their birthday or offering them the chance to work overtime in order to accrue additional hours, which they can use to shorten their working days or even have a full day off work. Letting your staff know that they can speak to you about their mental health concerns and take the day off when they’re not feeling their best can also greatly reduce stress and help employees avoid burning out.

Safer environments

Interestingly, yet not surprisingly, access to free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations through their organization also ranked amongst the list of the most sought-after employee benefits. Although this is something that not every workplace can realistically offer, you can help your team to feel safe and assured that you care about their health during this difficult time by going the extra mile to make changes to their working environment and patterns.

Close-up of face mask and hand sanitizer

How to offer this perk: Your business should have already implemented necessary changes to your office to help prevent the spread of the virus, such as implementing a one-way system with appropriate signage, placing hand sanitizers throughout the building, installing screens between seating and ensuring that everyone is able to keep a 2m distance. However, you can do more by staggering your employees’ working hours so less people are in the office at one time and allowing them to work from different locations – both outside and inside of your office (if you have enough space). You should also be asking your employees directly what would make them feel safer.

Offering the right workplace benefits is one of the easiest ways to make your employees happy and encourage them to stay with your company for the long-term.

Tec Marina’s serviced offices near Cardiff, South Wales offer plenty of room for social distancing, as well as unlimited tea and coffee, a free onsite gym and changing rooms, and bright and spacious meeting areas. The building also has 24/7 access to allow for flexible working and we have taken all necessary measures to keep our residents and their visitors feeling safe during the pandemic.

Ready to feel inspired by your workplace? Find out more about our flexible offices and facilities or enquire about our available office space by emailing contact@tecmarina.com or calling 02921 678391.

Office space available in Cardiff: Why choose Tec Marina?

Looking for the perfect office in Cardiff to relocate your team? Maybe you’re a start-up looking for its very first office space to call your own? Whatever the case may be, we have some great news… Tec Marina now has a number of serviced offices available to rent which are equipped with all the facilities you need to help you keep your employees happy, healthy and motivated!

Offering bright and spacious breakout areas, fully-equipped offices and exciting facilities such as a free on-site gym for residents, Tec Marina is the perfect home for forward-thinking businesses to reach their goals and become part of a wonderful community. Located in Penarth Marina, just outside of Cardiff, you can get inspired and impress your guests with the stunning scenery, while never being too far from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

We are also complying with current COVID-19 guidelines set out by the Welsh government to keep our residents feeling safe. Tec Marina has plenty of room to allow for social distancing and the building is regularly cleaned to a high standard.

Whether you’re a one-man-band or your company is made up of multiple teams, we’re sure to have the ideal office space to suit your needs – and we’re happy to announce that we now have a number of our flexible, fully serviced offices now available to rent!

So, why should you choose Tec Marina for your new office space?

It’s in a great central location

Tec Marina is ideally situated in the beautiful location of Penarth Marina, so you can enjoy the nearby green spaces and the beautiful view of the dock on your lunch break, or whenever you need to get up from your desk and grab some fresh air! You can also take advantage of the supermarket and petrol station that’s just a stone’s throw away from the building, as well as the great selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants that the town of Penarth has to offer.

Boats in Penarth Marina

Not only do you have everything you need nearby, but Tec Marina is extremely easy for your staff and visitors to get to. If you or your employees use public transport, Cogan railway station is a 5 to 10-minute walk from the building and is a short train ride away from Cardiff Central – Cardiff’s principal station. Prefer to drive? Tec Marina has great links to the motorway and we offer affordable on-site parking for residents, as well as secured bicycle storage for any keen cyclists! Have a large team or a lot of visitors to your office? There’s also a free public car park just a short walk away from the building.

It has all the facilities you need

Tec Marina residents have access to a wide range of on-site facilities and services, including a free 5-star gym with changing rooms and shower facilities, two spacious kitchen areas stocked with all the free tea and coffee you could ever want, and private meeting rooms that can be booked whenever you need. Additionally, our bright, open atrium is always available for lunch breaks and meetings, boasting plenty of seating areas and screens that you can connect your electronic devices to.

Kitchen in Tec Marina

All offices include superfast 1Gb fibre optic broadband and IT support from our trusted partners. Additionally, our friendly reception team is on-hand each day to greet your guests and make them feel welcome, collect and sort your business mail for you, and provide help with anything else you need – all you have to do is ask!

We focus on health and wellness

We know that keeping physically and mentally healthy is vital for keeping employees happy in the workplace, which was a huge motivator behind designing Tec Marina. It can be difficult to plan your fitness fix around your working day, so all residents have access to our free on-site gym at any time of the day, Monday to Friday – so you can work out before or after work, or even during your lunch break. Our gym is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for cardio and weight training, and we also offer showers and changing rooms on-site.

Tec Marina gym

We want everyone who visits Tec Marina to feel safe and that their health is being looked out for, which is why we have taken all necessary steps to comply with COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Welsh government. As well as ensuring that regular high-quality cleaning of the building is maintained (including our gym when it reopens), we have installed automatic hand sanitising stations at the entrance of the building, its kitchen areas and washrooms, put up screens between the seating in our atrium and implemented a one-way system throughout the building.

It’s home to a great community

Our reception team is always happy to help our residents and any visitors to the building with anything they need. However, one of the reasons that Tec Marina is such a great place to work is due to the friendly and supportive community made up of both staff and residents. Whether you’re grabbing your lunch from the kitchen or sitting down and having a 5-minute coffee break, there’s always someone to have a chat with!

The Tec Marina community is also extremely giving and charitable. In fact, we regularly host fundraising events that our residents are always more than happy to get involved with, whether it’s taking part in a raffle or making cakes, cookies and other tasty treats for a bake sale. Just some of the charities and causes we have supported over the years (and continue to support) include Comic Relief, Children in Need and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Close up of table filled with cakes

Can you see yourself at Tec Marina? We have a number of offices available for teams of various sizes – whether you need a private office or a shared co-working space. To book your virtual or physical viewing, please contact us by emailing contact@tecmarina.com or calling 02921 678391.

How to make your office safer during COVID-19

Close up on hands holding cleaning supplies

If your employees have been furloughed or working from home for the past few months, then they may be worried about returning to the office, despite lockdown restrictions now gradually being lifted around the globe. With the UK and many other parts of the world adapting to a ‘new normal’, you should already be preparing your building for your staff to return and doing everything you can to ensure they feel safe when your doors are ready to reopen.

With the threat of the virus still being very much present, it’s normal for your employees to have concerns about how they can protect themselves when they return to the workplace – especially as social distancing and wearing face coverings in enclosed spaces is due to be the norm for the foreseeable future. In this scary and uncertain time, you want to ensure your employees feel confident returning to work assured that every step has been taken to protect their health and well-being.

As an employer in the UK, you are now required to ensure that (where possible) everyone in your workplace is able to keep a 2-metre distance. However, if your business is based in Wales (where Tec Marina calls home!), it is a legal requirement for you to take reasonable measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. This includes ensuring that all employees and visitors to your premises are able to stay 2-metres apart. COVID-19 guidelines also state that frequently touched surfaces must be sanitised regularly.

If you employ more than 5 members of staff, your business will need to conduct a full health and safety audit before they are able to return to the office. Below, we outline some quick and simple changes you can make to your workplace to ensure it’s safe for their return…

Provide hand sanitizers

Regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, if hand washing facilities are not available, you should be using hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if you touch any surfaces in public areas, such as office buildings and shops.

You should ensure that everyone in your workplace has easy access to hand-washing facilities and hand sanitisers, with good places to locate hand sanitisers including at the entrance of the building, in communal areas (such as kitchens, washrooms and meeting rooms), and close to the entrance of different rooms. If possible, install automatic hand sanitiser dispensers that don’t need to be touch-operated to further reduce the spread of the virus.

Rearrange your office furniture

To help enforce social distancing, it’s likely that you’ll need to rearrange your furniture or remove some of it completely – especially if your office is small or you have a large team working in an enclosed space. Whether this is by halving the number of chairs that sit around a table in your breakout area or seating employees back-to-back when working, you must ensure that those in your premises are able to move around without coming into close contact with others and that they can keep a 2-metre distance even when seated.

Putting up screens between desks and other seating areas is an effective way of reducing the virus being spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes. If you work in a smaller building with narrow corridors, you should also consider implementing a one-way system for moving around the building and ensuring this is clearly signposted or marked on the floor.

Clean surfaces more regularly

Regular cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces is vital in reducing the spread of any virus. Although your office should already be undergoing daily cleaning, this will need to be substantially increased as coronavirus is easily transferred from people to surfaces, and then to other individuals who touch these surfaces.

Your business should conduct a risk assessment to identify any frequently touched areas in your building, including (but not limited to) workstations, computer keyboards, printers, door handles, windows, kitchen appliances, toilets and work tools. You should put in place measures to ensure these are cleaned and disinfected between each use (if possible). One easy way to enforce this is by placing cleaning products throughout the office so people can disinfect these surfaces and equipment before they use them.

Take a flexible approach

Though you may be keen to see your employees after spending the past few months keeping in touch through emails, instant messaging and video calls, continuing to let them work from home a few days a week will greatly reduce the number of people in your office at one time – making it far easier to ensure that social distancing guidelines are being adhered to. Plus, with many of your employees likely to have adapted to the freedom of working from home, a soft and gradual return to the early morning alarms and traffic-filled commutes is sure to be appreciated!

If possible, offering more flexibility with working hours can also reduce the number of workers who are in the office at one time, as well as help those who are unable to walk, cycle or drive to work to avoid travelling on busy public transport during peak times. Extending the time frames in which staff can take lunch breaks will also ensure that everyone is able to keep a distance.

Looking for the perfect office in South Wales for your team’s return to work? Tec Marina is located just outside of the capital city of Cardiff and offers a number of fully serviced flexible offices for teams of all sizes with plenty of room for social distancing. In fact, we have more open breakout spaces than most other serviced offices! To find out more and to book your virtual or physical viewing, please email contact@tecmarina.com or call us on 02921 678391!

Tec Marina Bootcamp – Week 1

On Monday, we started the week off right with our very first Tec Marina bootcamp session. Personal Trainer, Matt Bowring, took a group of 14 Tec Marina residents into our gym for a lunchtime fitness fix.

As this was the first session out of 8, we partnered up and went through some tough fitness tests, including timed cardio, press-ups and sit ups. We noted down our scores and will be using these as a starting point to track our progress over the next 8 weeks. Fitness tests out of the way, Coach Matt then made the decision to inflict some serious pain on the Tec Marina bootcampers with a group squatting session, and we certainly felt the burn.

Squats

But the pain will not be stopping there. Each bootcamper has been set some weekly homework. 2 x 20-min workouts are to be completed by everyone before next Monday. No excuses are valid when you have a gym in the same building as your office.

Session over, high fives all round, and time to hit the showers. Despite the wobbly legs, the afternoon saw a peak in motivation with lots of post workout endorphins floating around the place.

With a full house already booked for next Monday, we’re looking forward to seeing how far we can progress as a group over the next 8 weeks – Go team!

Health and well-being are high on the agenda at Tec Marina, and that’s why we want to offer sessions like these to our residents for no extra cost. Follow our progress over on our Twitter page.