DELTA VARIANT AND THE RETURN TO THE OFFICE: OUR EXPERT TEAM’S TAKE
It’s August 2021. Many American companies are closely watching the impact of the Delta variant. We’ve got vaccines to combat the virus readily available in the United States nearly 17 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. According to ourworldindata.org 50% of the American population is fully vaccinated. COVID-19 testing positivity rates and hospitalizations were on the decline in the early part of this summer.
Many companies and organizations made plans to return to their physical offices if they hadn’t already. Talk of temporary desk dividers, social distancing, hand sanitizing stations at work has turned into larger strategy discussions led by Infinity Group’s expert team.
We ask big questions:
- Why do you need a physical office?
- How are you and your team going to use it?
- What work is greatly enhanced by in person collaboration?
- Which tasks can be done remotely?
- What is your company’s long-term goals?
Companies and organizations we work with are putting the safety and wellness of their employees first. Our expert team has been at the leading edge of strategy, architecture, design, engineering, and construction of commercial spaces throughout the pandemic.
Infinity Group is a trusted source for workplace strategy.
If fact, our team was featured in news reports just weeks after the pandemic took hold in 2020. And then, as return to office plans began to crystalize in the spring of 2021, Infinity Group experts were interviewed about the future of the office. Now, we turn to the team’s experience to navigate what has become another source of delay for our country’s return to office plans: the Delta variant. We asked them for their insight on the impact of the Delta variant and Infinity Group’s active projects this summer.
Corey Edwards, Infinity Group Director, Client Relations:
Companies that we had started working with before the pandemic have restarted their projects. New clients are reaching out with their return to office projects and they have incredibly quick turnaround requests. Our team is busier than pre-pandemic levels. I’m attributing a lot of it to pent-up demand for our services. There are large companies, with names you’ve probably heard of, who are pushing forward with their plans to redesign their workspaces. I can say that all our clients who have started work are continuing that work now. Also new projects are signing on as well. The Delta variant has been met with some uncertainty on exactly when companies will invite employees back into the workspaces. But it hasn’t changed their long-term goal of creating a physical environment for their employees that is worth returning to.
Laura Merrill, Infinity Group Director of Design:
So far, the theme for this summer is change with a dash of introspection. The Delta variant hasn’t changed the design elements, finishes, or floor plans of design projects I’m overseeing. But it is giving some people pause around exactly when they will reopen for in person work. I believe the major uptick in our demand for work right now is coming, in part, from companies who may not have been considering a major renovation before COVID-19. Traditionally, an overhaul of their space would happen every 7-10 years. Now, the pandemic has forced nearly corporate leadership to rethink how they use physical space. This is my favorite kind of work as a designer. It’s creative and visionary.
Oftentimes my clients don’t know what exactly can be done to the space to make it work better. My goal is to show them a new vision by applying the best workplace design practices to their floor plan, while working closely with the clients’ teams to cater the space perfectly to the company’s corporate culture and philosophy.
Martin Gedek, Infinity Group Director of Construction:
All our construction projects are moving forward on schedule. The Delta variant has delayed the return to office dates for some companies. We are fielding questions and concerns about what the pandemic and any variants mean for the supply chain. There are also possible disruptions to things like furniture delivery and availability of materials. Since the beginning of the pandemic our safety protocols on site have been stringent. Those COVID-19 safety restrictions are still in place today.
What won’t change: your need to have a trusted partner in this.
It’s never been more important to plan for what’s next. It’s time to create a welcoming space for your employees that matches the new reality of how your company is working. Here’s the thing, dusting off your old cubicles isn’t going to cut it. That’s why having a trusted partner to navigate this time is crucial whether your return to office date is in September, October, or the beginning of 2022. Contact Infinity Group to get started today.