What will your post COVID-19 workplace look like? With offices starting to re-open many employers have given their employees a choice as to whether they wish to return to the office of remain working from home. Although many people are enjoying the flexibility of working from their own homes, they are also missing social interaction with colleagues and would prefer to go back to the office for a couple days a week.
However, with more employees working from home, you will need less desk space than what you do now. You will still need the office for reasons such as colleague and client meetings or complex brainstorming sessions. Therefore, the office space will need to be reconfigured to invite people in for the purpose of innovation.
Short-term changes within the workplace will include the installation of Perspex screens to divide desks. Although this may not be a permanent feature within offices this is a good way to make sure that government guidelines are adhered to and your employees are safe.
Another short-term change within the office will be wayfinding signs and one ways systems. This will give the employees that return to work clear instructions on where they can go to avoid the chance of them being within 2 metres of each other.
Short term changes provide a quick solution to getting people back into the office while adhering to government guidelines, however many more changes will be needed to be made to offices due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the way people work.
If you wish to keep one-way systems to avoid people having close contact, then partition walls will need to be installed to separate the office to enforce a permanent change.
Permanent changes can be made to the office to reduce the number of touchable surfaces. Automatic door opening and closures can be installed to prevent people from having to use door handles. The introduction of a cafe/barista in the office will prevent people from using a shared kitchen where there are many touchable surfaces.
You can also reconfigure your office to include hand washing stations. This means that employees will not need to enter the toilets to wash their hands and prevents them from touching any more surfaces than needed or going into an enclosed room with other people.
With many people making the choice to predominantly work from home, the office will become more of a shared space. This means that they will have to schedule time for use of the workspaces. The office will become more of a hub for people to go to when they have meetings or need to work collaboratively. Therefore, there will be no need for individual desks and the office will need to be redesigned with collaborative space at the forefront. Most offices will be working at half capacity with the other half working from home to make sure that everyone can stick to social distancing. Meetings will also be held in open areas rather than rooms so there is adequate room for everyone to sit with accordance to social distancing.
We can assist you with returning to work safely and responsibly. Get in contact with us today on 01793 840121 or firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to us about what we can do to help you with a safe return to the office.