Let's face it, every company is facing the difficulties of a long period of workers working from home. Many businesses are trying to find out a way to consistently bring at least partial shifts back to the workplace. The question here is how? In modern office design, how can we be COVID safe while also allowing for the irreplaceable advantages of collaboration and team-building that come with a team office environment?
The offices will face the challenge to guarantee a six-foot distance between workstations, which may or may not continue to be required by governments. Fortunately, workers would feel better ensuring that their employer offers the required social distance to a workstation so that they can concentrate on productivity instead of thinking about being sick.
Over the years, office desks have shrunk, mainly because our equipment has either been outdated or shrunk as well. In order to establish proper social distance limits, will our desks increase in size, or will we have more free space between them? This will finally be up to each company.
Even, to ensure the correct six-foot gap, chairs would need to be staggered around the tables. A table that could once suit 10 people, for example, can now have to accommodate just 3 or 4. In addition, companies can install workstation enclosures such as transparent screening panels of plastic or glass that can protect employees but still allow them to see each other and interact.
image source - deskandsit.com
It may also be a smart idea to invest in personal computers, tablets, or phones for your staff while thinking about workstations. If you limit what's on them, workstations will become minimal, and having each employee their own devices that they can commute with and are responsible for can limit the number of wires and desk items and help keep the office space clean and safe.
Many employers will further accept flexible work and encourage more staff to telecommute with a requirement to de-densify offices.
Since some workers will also operate from the workplace, organizations will need to ensure that staff can interact regularly and more seamlessly.
In a smaller conference space, you can have few people working, while also maintaining a social distance talking with others who are working from home. This means it might be time for your office AV game to go up. It is an investment that is expected to have a large return.
More meeting rooms with motion sensor doors or no doors at all will ensure that teams continue to communicate and work effectively on a regular basis.
Lightweight and flexible furniture that can be quickly moved, reconfigured, and sanitized can help ensure that you keep your workers healthy and allow you the flexibility to adjust your floor plans as required.
Additionally, for washing up spills, microfibre couches and chairs are perfect. They have an outstanding reputation for being functional all-round fabrics that are easy to maintain but are designed to withstand heavy use.
Adjustable-height freestanding tables are flexible and complement the workspace that includes modular, customizable furniture.
These desking systems can be customized by users depending on their height and whether they will be sitting or standing. The tremendous advantage of adaptable office furniture is ergonomics.
Fold Flexi, a modular desk by Atmosphere can be conveniently moved from one location to another, without any trouble. In case of need, you can move it smoothly from one room to the other. This is one such desk that gives you multiple uses in a single piece of furniture.
It can help employees adjust to the office environment once they return back, as they must be habitual to flexible workspaces while working from home.
Productivity and a sense of togetherness are promoted by practical yet flexible furniture. Adaptable furniture often appears to be comfortable furniture that can be tailored to individual tastes, making workers in the workplace happier.
It is an important part of our society today to build spaces that make the workers happy going back to work. We have to be innovative and think creatively about teamwork and how physical distance and in-person contact and collaboration can be allowed in our office spaces.
When employers around the world are experimenting with getting their workers back to offices, management needs to act now to ensure that workplaces are both efficient and healthy when they return.
This moment must also be used by companies to break from the inertia of the past by dispensing with old patterns and processes that are suboptimal. This moment can be used to rethink their position and create a better talent experience, boost teamwork and efficiency, and minimize costs through a well-planned return to offices.