Posted on 22nd July 2020
Following months of remote working, more and more businesses are returning to the workplace after government guidelines are slowly relaxed, but where do you start and ensure adequate precautions are in place for the safety of your team and the wider community?
The impact of COVID-19 has challenged the conventions of the office environment and now has never been more important to promote better physical wellbeing within your team.
Our blog explores 5 key design principles that will help improve confidence and deliver personal working spaces that provide peace of mind.
1. Physical distance
When adapting the design of an office space, we would encourage you to embrace health and wellbeing principles including the government’s safe social distancing guidance. All though adhering to these regulations may reduce the occupancy of the workplace, you could consider a flexible working approach with some of your team working both remotely and in the office on a rotation basis.
2. Define boundaries & reduce anxiety
Discuss boundaries with your team. By allowing employees to define their own boundaries, together you can create an environment that promotes confidence and will help ensure your team is content and happy, therefore helping them to remain efficient and productive.
3. Health & Wellbeing
Be clear with COVID-19 risk assessments and provide any additional and appropriate PPE. Now is also a great time to consider indoor air quality and the current measures in place.
Your handwashing facilities will also need to be defined and communicated to the team as a new behavioural measure. By strategically placing hand sanitising stations or allocating separate areas for handwashing will help minimise the transmission of the virus. Bold and dynamic signage can help implement your new procedure as it acts as a clear visual reminder.
4. Workspace redesign considerations
Accommodating different needs and work styles is important in any design stage, and as social distancing rules change, so does the need for workspaces to evolve and adapt. Simple measures like rearranging desks or reconfiguring collaboration zones can help fully utilise the working space available making it flexible, practical and safe.
For helpful advice and space redesign services, why not call in the experts? Here at COI, we are a team of design, CAD, and space planning specialists. We can help reduce the density of your workspace, incorporate existing furniture, make suggestions for additional requirements, and advise/source essential protective equipment.
Our experienced approach also considers:
- Review and reduce density strategies
- Communal areas
- Meeting, conference and boardroom facilities including video conferencing spaces
- Visual signage and equipment
5. Office Furniture
The adaptability of any workspace is crucial. We believe that the furniture we supply should inspire the business and the individuals that use them, despite the current pandemic crisis we are experiencing.
When making new purchases, you should choose materials and finishes that can be easily cleaned to maintain good hygiene. There is a vast range of fabrics available with antimicrobial properties, or alternative materials that can be cleaned with bleach type solutions without affecting the finish or quality.
Our COVID-19 essential range includes a variety of protection screens that provide a crucial barrier when talking, coughing, or sneezing, alongside flexible and adaptable office furniture, educational furniture, and remote/home working solutions.
Here are just some of the products and ranges we can offer as part of our turnkey solutions:
- Protection Screens
- Antibacterial/antimicrobial seating
- Private pods and booths
- Personal storage including lockers
- Sanitising stations
- Temperature checking booths
- Floor decals and signage
- Working from home furniture (WFH)
- Educational furniture and equipment
Using our 5 key design tips, you can confidently help your team return to work and navigate the challenges of the global pandemic. If you have any questions, concerns or would like any assistance to ensure a COVID-secure workspace, please get in touch with our friendly and experienced team.