OFFICE INNOVATION: Reimagining the workplace in a post-pandemic world

Special Reports

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things including the way people work, and it has forced many companies to find alternatives to business practices.

As a result, employers have started to take a look at how to reimagine the workplace. Working at an office 40-hours a day and five days a week may soon become a thing of the past.

“We’ve seen an increase right here in East Texas of companies that are national or international that have this web-based program where people can work from home,” said Patricia Guevara, the director of administrative staffing at Express Professionals in Tyler.

Express Professional’s focus is to help people find jobs that they are suited for and that fit their needs. 

The Genesis Group in Tyler is one of the companies that is putting these practices into action. They launched a four day work week in January 2020, before the height of the pandemic.

Jim Nipp, the president of Genesis Group, said that the product is what matters and if employees can get the same result in less time that there is no reason they should be working more.

“We could provide a better quality of life for our employees, and we could get the same production,” Nipp said.

Jim Nipp, President of Genesis Group

The goal is not only to rebuild and retain employees but also to alleviate stress brought on by the job as well as to allow workers to spend more time with their families and in the community.

Nipp said that a lot goes into making a company-wide change, such as condensing their hours of operation. He added that it takes time, dedication, and commitment from the company’s side.

Highlighting perks can increase their talent pool. After a year of online school, something that Tyler Junior College students look for when they apply to jobs after graduation is a healthy work environment.

“This is an interesting dynamic that the pandemic brought on, that’s not only impacting the workplace but also affecting the mindset of the students as they think about where they want to work,” said Chris Fontaine, the executive director of academic advising at Tyler Junior College. 

Guevara said that there are a few things that almost every future employee is looking for, “… compensation has been the hot topic, that’s the number one thing driving people back to work. The second thing would be employee engagement. I mean there are so many employees that are working that are disengaged in their work.”

Changes haven’t been made to a traditional work week, in decades.

“I think it will stabilize the workforce as we’re continuing to experience changes in our labor market. It will help businesses regain and retain the employees they need,” Guevara said.

It isn’t just businesses that are making these changes, school districts have also started making adjustments to their schedule. They hope that it will produce the same results that it produces on a corporate level. 

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