As employees across the globe return to their workplaces, office managers and business owners face a novel set of challenges. New measures must be put in place to help employees return to work safely and with confidence. Office spaces need to be reconfigured creatively, from providing distanced space with ergonomic office furniture to regularly scheduled deep cleanings.
While working from home and Zoom calls have kept businesses functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic, many miss the benefits of collaborating with coworkers in person, from the collective energy of brainstorming and problem solving to socializing in informal spaces like kitchens and break rooms. Re-configuring your workplace environment will help employees enjoy those same benefits while maintaining their safety.
Below are a few recommendations to help you create a safe, inspiring office setting.
Regular Housekeeping & Deep Cleaning Protocols
A clean, disinfected environment is essential for maintaining safe conditions for your employees. Ensure that every area of your workplace is cleaned and sanitized regularly, from phones and office furniture to the kitchen and restrooms. Establish daily housekeeping practices with deep cleaning performed before and after hours. Be sure that your cleaning staff uses a disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with ingredients listed for killing germs that cause COVID-19, influenza, staph and other infectious diseases.
Reconfigure Office Furniture
Health should be at the forefront when evolving your current space. Ergonomic office furniture is always a priority so that employees can maintain good posture and avoid workplace injury. In the midst of COVID-19, there are additional concerns such as physical distancing and density to take into consideration when configuring space. Physical distancing means maintaining distance of at least six feet from others. As a result, personal workspaces may need to be moved further away from each other. Or you may want to consider a Divi Open Plan to help create boundaries and enhance protection. Meeting spaces may also need to evolve into more spacious areas with only one person operating technological tools and at least six feet of space between each attendee.
Lobby & Reception
A beautifully designed reception area is key to making a good impression on potential clients and customers. Yet it’s also a thoroughfare for every person who enters the building. Businesses can help protect their staff is with a clear divider or Plexiglass barrier. This can help prevent the spread of respiratory droplets carrying germs that spread COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses, while still allowing staff to see and communicate with visitors. Hand sanitizer should be available on the reception desk and the entire area should be disinfected often.
While our workplaces may look and feel very different than pre-COVID, with the right office furniture and design, they can still inspire the creativity, innovation and resilience necessary to be productive and successful. Click here for information on our office furniture, space planning and design services.