Keep Calm and Covid On

Posted: 11 July 2020

Posted: 11.07.2020

Let Return-to-work signage instill some heart.

Restrictions are easing, and so the lure of the workplace is calling.
cafés are brewing, restaurants are ordering and people are re-connecting once more.

The transition back to our ‘new normal’ life has begun.
But with people more cautious than ever, how do we re-evaluate our workspaces for this new transitional period?

Let’s take a look…

As employees head back – albeit tentatively – into the work environment some fundamentals will need to shift. We will all need to re-wire behaviours to be more considerate and more patient as we navigate through a once familiar space. 

Returning employees can also expect to being greeted with a new kind of new visual clutter. We will now all be expected to process and digest a new whole raft of rules & regulations, mostly in the form of ‘Covid-safe’ signage.

Tight spaces, narrow stairs, pinch-points, dead-ends & lifts all need to be considered from a social-distancing perspective. 

Whilst it’s important to adhere to these messages, we believe there is a way to deliver these in a more refreshing, crafted and branded approach.

The following points highlight some best-practices for signage communication and wayfinding graphics when welcoming back employees after the curve of the pandemic has been flattened.

Branding not Blanding – When preparing your CovidSafe workplace consider the opportunity to reflect your brand when connecting with with your employees. Styled signage can convey an authentic message through using your own brand colours, fonts and graphic assets to complement your workspace comms.

Resist purchasing off-the-shelf signs that are generic and impersonal. Returning employees that have been WFH need to re-engage with your company brand and values.

People are innately hardwired to notice difference – your employees will look twice at that stylishly design sign that better considers the materiality, tone & colour to blend with architectural features or reflect your brand. Play with scale and location for maximum effect. 

Speak like a Human – Be authentic, be human. Bring warmth and personality into your communications, after all we’re just people talking to people.

It may be a stressful and confusing period of re-adjustment, so a friendly voice and calm leadership is what your employees will be looking for.

And if it’s right for your brand, consider dialling up the humour – life is stressful enough at the moment.Consider bringing a smile to your people who need it with a casual tone, catchy headlines and human-centric conversation, which will ultimately provide a better connection than an authoritarian approach.

Images speak a 1,000 words – Say it more intuitively and more effectively by including icons and infographics into your graphic signage. Studies show that comms resonate and connect better when they use pictorial & visual cues.

Employee Brand Effectiveness – Strengthen your Employee Brand with signage communications that integrate into other staff-engagement campaigns. 

How you communicate with your teams during this transitional period is mission critical to how employees will feel about your brand beyond the pandemic.

You may already have your company pillars, values and employee value propositions in place so now is the ideal time to walk the talk and put these into practice for your internal audience.

THERE helps provide more confident and intuitive journeys through effective wayfinding. If you are looking for help with your new CovidSafe Workplace feel free to reach out.

Paul Tabouré is Executive Creative Director & co-Founder of THERE.
THERE is one of Asia Pacific most-awarded Placemaking, Signage & Wayfinding firms.