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The Rebound Indiana: People seeking healthy and safe workplaces

Posted at 10:47 AM, Jul 07, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — As the city of Indianapolis moves forward, it will require mask-wearing on Thursday. Still, some people who work in the Capital City expressed concerns about returning to their offices, and their bosses are aware.

"I see a lot of people in a fog. They are frozen. They are getting information all over the board," Melissa St. John, the owner of "Relocation Strategies," said.

St. John has worked with big local companies about the best way to use their space.

A recent survey from St. John found that 29% of employees want to keep working from home, 43% would prefer to work from home three days a week, and 77% were just as productive at home. Melissa is using that information to create safer work environments.

"But once they find out what employees need, the path is crystal clear, because if you don't have employees happy, productive, and engaged your profits are not going to go up," St. John said. "Your profits go up. Your people are your profits."

One thing being done is adding stackers to cubicles to decrease the face-to-face contact between people, changing work schedules to reduce interaction in the office, using movable barriers to conduct one-on-one meetings.

"You just sit in on your work station. I'm in an office right now that has a table. I have a table where people can come in. I have this so I can look at what they are doing," St. John said.

"This thing folds up," St. John continued about the mobile barrier. "You can carry it. I carry it when I have a coffee meeting or a lunch meeting."

Relocation Strategies worked with the Indianapolis International Airport. Several employees were moved to an off-site facility to provide more space and safety.

Mario Rodriguez, the executive director of the Indy airport, says the pandemic has accelerated the move to let people use current technology to work from home.

"You can work from home remotely, very effectively, and you can manage a workgroup — that's discussed all over the place and works effectively and produces a high a quality product," Rodriguez said.

Relocation Strategies says COVID-19 is impacting big office buildings. Some companies are either expanding to create more space, and others are moving out because more people are working from home.

So whether at the airport or an office building, significant changes are taking off.