With so many companies planning their return to work, our phones are ringing off the hook with clients wondering whether their current office furniture, layout and workflow is able to be made into a more bio-safe and hygenic workspace for now and the foreseeable future. What we’re telling our clients is basically a version of “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Use the necessity of changing your office design to become both a safer, and a more attractive workplace. Office remodeling can change the personality of your office as well as motivate your employees, improve employ performance, and attract new clients, while better retaining employees. But in these times your remodel can also add design and furniture features that improve employee separation, facilitate social distancing yet allow for teaming, introduce bio-engineered worksurfaces, and make new cleaning and workflow protocols work better. To make your office remodeling work for everything you need, in 95% of cases you don’t have to throw everything out (unless you want to of course!) you just need to consider the modification and addition of a few elements.
Consider Movement In Your Office
Design and layout choices now are about limiting incidental interaction, while allowing efficient movement to important area’s. What was less important in a pre-covid world has now become a central fixture of office layout. The introduction of natural barriers full of plants or artwork, become both beautiful visual elements and practical barriers that direct employees where you want them to go and how you want them to get there.
Consider Bio-Toxic Worksurfaces
Several Manufacturers provide copper or copper infused chairs and work surfaces. For critical area’s such as conference rooms and touchdown stations, its worth considering an investment in work areas that will not harbor virus’ or bacteria for long. Even certain kinds of fabrics and backing materials are known to be less friendly to germs are can be easily cleaned with stronger cleansers without losing their beauty. It’s all about cleaning friendly materials now.
Partitions that Protect but Don’t Separate
Visible, view through partitions distributed through BE Furniture from several manufacturers, can be added to most work surfaces. Made of clear acrylic they fully protect workplace neighbors from the worst effects of errant sneezing and other contact, while allowing employees to see each other and remain in close proximity desking layouts.
The days of packing to standing room only into a tiny conference room are probably over for the foreseeable future. Conference rooms seating has to be pared back, worksurfaces cleaned after every meeting, and virtual meeting elements should be part of every teaming area now. Meeting in smaller groups will drive changes to workflow that may require the creation of more but smaller protected teaming areas. BE’s Movable Wall solutions have long been a cost-effective solution to the challenge and are more than ever relevant now. They even come with potential tax benefits for the business owner, check them out at our moveable glass walls page.
Keep the Air Clean
In an age of concern about airborne disease, paying attention to the quality of your office air is a pretty good idea. If you rent office space, ask your landlord to have the ductwork professionally cleaned. Better yet consider the installation of a UV Ductwork Sterilization System. But finally consider the installation of a local commercial air filtration system. One of the most advanced on the market is the Dyson Pure Cool, by Dyson for business. Using a combination of Hepa filtering and UV light, the Dyson Pure Cool can remove up to 99.97% of particulates from the air, and a single unit covers more than 400 square feet. Actually all Dyson products represent the leading edge of hygienic technology, you can see it all at BE’s Dyson Products for Business page
Design for the New Objectives of Workplace Safety
A few decades back, workplace safety meant not getting hit by falling boxes, run over by forklifts, or keeping your hands away from the printer head. But the concept of workplace safety post COVID has just been reinvented, my friends.
For those who are planning to remodel or start over with their office environment, you need to partner with a company that leverages a deep understanding of the new meanings of workplace safety. Please contact us at Business Environments, we want to help you with that.