Office changes we can expect to see returning to work in a COVID-19 world

Businesses are getting ready to go back to work. Many have a playbook of sorts for the return, and safety is of primary concern.

"It's not an easy job," said Andy Gutman.

Gutman is President of Southfield-based Farbman Group, a leading full service commercial real estate firm.

The firm handles property management for hundreds of businesses.  He knows that businesses need to get back to work soon and is taking precautions in their own offices.

We know that masks, 6-foot distancing and hand sanitizer will be must-haves.

"A lot of that is tougher to get these days," he said. "So we're trying to plan weeks and months days ahead of time."

But there are some other creative ways for safety, especially if a building has an elevator. 

"Each building has a certain depth to the elevator," he said. "We took a look at that and we say we recommend only one person or two people or four depending on the depth of the elevator."

Gutman says you'll be seeing all kinds of signs on the elevator directing people how and where to stand.  But there are other safety issues.

For our buildings, we are increasing the cleaning every day," he said. "The number of high touch points to get scrubbed down at least once every hour in these buildings."

Don't forget the rest rooms.

"In the restrooms, we are putting vacant and occupied signs on the door, so people can just move them with their elbow or wrist, so that you know someone's in there or that there's too many people in there."

Some of Andy Gutman's tenants have not paid rent during the pandemic.

"We know that some people can't pay their rent and those I can, have been, which is great to see," he said. "That's great and I think that's what it's going to take for all of us to come out better off."