Changes in the workplace are happening at unprecedented speeds.  With an estimated 60+% of employed Americans working from home during the pandemic, the latest wave of change surrounds getting these people safely back to the office.  The question on everyone’s mind is:

How many of these recent changes will be permanent and what will the future workplace look like?

  1. Working from home – According to Gallup, approximately 60% of Americans workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible, even after all restrictions are lifted. Leaders must assess their current work from home policies and then model this work-life blend themselves so that it becomes part of the company’s new culture. Existing policies and procedures as well as employee/departmental measures need to reviewed to ensure alignment with this shift.

Critical question: What work-life blend do you want your current and potential employees to associate with your company? 

  1. Working in the office – Offices are already starting to look different. Open floor plans are being replaced with socially distanced, high walled cubicles. Common areas may need to be larger and better situated for social distancing. The need for conference room space will most likely be diminishing. Working relationships in the office will change as both responsibilities and processes evolve, this will certainly challenge the existing placement of people and equipment.  There may be a greater desire to have visitor space more isolated from the rest of the company.  Larger reception areas and forward facing conference rooms may take over some of the real estate in the front of buildings.  The same could be said for highly trafficked receiving areas.  All of these factors will need to align with the anticipated percentage of office staff that will be concurrently working in the office.

Critical question: How many concurrent office staff should be considered as part of your short and long term office change plan?   

  1. Information strategy – The pandemic has challenged many norms and forced managers to trust information and processes that are no longer within the confines of their office. Having more information stored and managed in the cloud is a logical evolutionary step for some companies.  As advocates for change and promoters of “Utopian” efficiency gains, Insyte has been long beating the drum for organizations to go paperless in both manufacturing and in the office.  Less paper means more electronic information.  As staff members come back to the office, organizations need to understand where all of their critical data resides and how it is being managed and shared by the workforce.  Similar to an audit, look for duplicate sources of information, new process related waste, or workflows that may have introduced more risk as a result of recent changes.

Critical question: What changes need to be made to ensure the most efficient and secure storage and sharing of critical information in this new world?

We are all in this together; if any of our clients or partners have successfully implemented changes regarding these concepts and are willing to share with the WNY manufacturing community, we are asking you to submit them to us and we can share these best practices with all the manufacturers in our community. Descriptions, photos, examples, etc. would be beneficial and we can give you credit for any submissions that would be published.

Please submit any ideas to:  


Read more of Insyte’s #ReopenWNY blog series:

Reopen WNY: Getting Started Within New Guidelines – Recently we received the long awaited announcement that manufacturers within WNY are now allowed to reopen. Along with this good news, there are some required constraints to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Reopen WNY: Covid-19 Visual Controls – As your employees start coming back and settling into their existing or new jobs, the time is right to think about enhancing your visual controls.





Insyte Consulting