10 Dec Post COVID Office Design Solutions
When many of us began to work from home this year, it may have been enjoyable at first. No more commuting, buying lunch, or getting out of your pajamas—sounds like a dream! Then reality sinks in. There’s no more socializing or water cooler conversations. Meetings take place over Zoom, which can be awkward and frustrating. Finally, it’s harder to get answers to immediate questions.
For these reasons, most employees are eager to return to the office. But the workplace won’t look the same as it did before restrictions were implemented. Offices are shared spaces, which means that precautions must be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you’re looking for ways to redesign your office, we’ve put together a few solutions:
Install Moveable Walls
When a wall stands in the way of your new layout idea, it can be pretty cumbersome to get rid of it—with moveable walls, that won’t be a problem. Simply slide them to whatever position you desire. It’s easy to convert an open space into a meeting room: push the moveable walls together, and your staff will have a private space to discuss their work. You will have the flexibility to rearrange the layout of your workspace however you need to when you aren’t confined by permanent walls.
Make Cleaning Products Accessible
For the office to be a safe place, it needs to be cleaned often. Disinfection and sanitization are now at the top of any office’s priority list. Offices should be designed to have hand-washing stations and bottles of sanitizer in the rooms with the most contact, such as near the coffee pot or the printer.
Implement An Open Floor Plan
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of open floor plans. It appears that this trend is here to stay now that physical distancing is a concern. With individual offices, there are a lot more surfaces that need cleaning, such as doors, handles, and light switches. It’s safer for everyone if desks are placed at appropriate distances in an open area. A design like this also allows for better ventilation than in a confined space. In a post-COVID workplace, it might be more common to leave the windows open for proper airflow if the HVAC system is lacking.
Open floor plans come with one downside: at times, all that space makes it hard to focus. Moveable walls give you the flexibility to adjust the floor plan as needed. By installing glass doors, you will keep the open feel of the office but still maintain a barrier for safety purposes.
A big focus in offices is air purification. As we mentioned, HVAC systems and open windows are used to ventilate the air in closed spaces. Many people believe that plants can remove toxins from the air, but recent information suggests that this claim is not well-supported by research. That being said, a touch of greenery can do a lot to freshen up the office. Watching the growth of a plant can inspire the optimism that’s needed at a time like this. If you are limited on windows that provide natural light, install some plant lights.
Upgrade Outdated Technology
Few businesses will come out of the pandemic with better profits than when it began—for most, the outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in widespread losses of revenue. Businesses are looking for ways to adjust their budgets. If utility bills are too high, you can make your building more energy efficient. While this requires an initial investment, it’s one that will pay off in the end. It can be as simple as upgrading your light bulbs from incandescent ones to LEDs or purchasing new computers with power-saving settings.
Rearrange The Desks
The rule of thumb for physical distancing is staying six feet apart. This image contradicts our old conceptions of an office space, where cubicles were linked together, and board rooms featured narrow tables with dozens of chairs. To make the modern workplace a safe one, some furniture will probably need to be rearranged to allow enough distance between employees. Once again, a great way to separate different sections of the office is by adding moveable walls. They can be rearranged to adapt to new set-ups as your team grows.
No one could have imagined all the ways that our world would change this year. When employees return to work, they can expect that their offices will look different than before. To adapt to new restrictions, offices need creative solutions for their floorspace design. Moveable walls can promote an adaptable, safe, and productive workplace. Let the experts at Specialty Building Services help you create a space that will keep you and your team safe and productive.