During this unique period in history, social distancing is atop the minds of many individuals, families and even companies around the world. To protect the health and safety of both ourselves and others, the ability to stay at safe distances for general interactions has been vital in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
At New Life Office, we know many company owners, office managers and others may be concerned about safety and health themes if or when employees return to the physical office space – in some areas and companies, this process has already begun. Not only do we offer several products that will be helpful for these efforts, from a selection of office cubicles that includes workstation panels for separation to quality office tables and seating, but we’re also happy to provide expertise on how to arrange an office with social distancing in mind. This two-part blog series will go over several themes we recommend for whenever you begin to bring employees back into the office.
Cubicles and Basic Design
While the “private” office space has largely fallen out of fashion over the last couple decades, replaced by more open themes to foster communication and diversity of opinions, the materials required for those older privacy themes are still easily attainable – and now they double as health and safety items, too. Cubicles are of particular interest here, especially those workstations that come with specific partitions and walls that can separate individual employees from breathing on each other or otherwise spreading disease particles.
In cases where cubicles without partitions are already on-site and cannot be replaced, we recommend supplement dividers or some other kind of physical barrier. Employees should know that when they’re in their primary seat performing typical duties, they will be completely safe from disease spread risks.
Seating Arrangements and Protection
Another important area to consider here is general seating plans for the office as a whole. Even if you’re using strong partitions between cubicles, we recommend moving any closely-congested desk spaces so they have several feet between them. If possible, consider alternate desk locations or rotational remote work in certain cases.
In many cases, workplaces will begin phasing back into in-person work in stages. Only vital employees will return at first, with the goal being to limit interactions and keep the environment as safe as possible.
In these situations, it’s valuable to consider areas where vital employees might be able to double-up or combine tasks while in the office. This will allow other employees to remain at home for the time being, keeping all involved safer in the process.
For more on keeping offices safe and healthy during returns to work, or to learn about any of our office furniture products, speak to the staff at New Life Office today.