The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in so many ways. One of the areas impacted the most is employment with many jobs becoming remote for a while. The world is slowly returning to normal with employees returning to work. Social distancing guidelines are still needed though, which is why you should consider the five office design ideas below.
1. Individual Workspaces
One of the first ways that office designs will change is in the need to have individual workspaces for each individual. This can be achieved through social distancing furniture in which desks are larger so that they can be better spread apart. There can also be tables that have built-in face guards and have ample room around them where employees can space out. It is important also to allow everyone to have their own desk objects like trashcans, supplies, and placemats even to help keep the space clean for everyone working there.
2. Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans are necessary for social distancing on a post-pandemic office as they allow everyone ample space to go where they need to go. Open floor plans also allow for proper ventilation so that the air is continually circulating without allowing the germs to sit stagnant in the air. With an open floor plan, there are also fewer doorknobs and other places for employees to have to touch. This reduces the transmission of germs throughout the office as there will be less contact with surfaces with a lack of things to touch.
3. Furniture Changes
Any piece of furniture that is in the office will probably have a finish on it that is easy to clean and sanitize. Some of the finishes may even be antimicrobial in that when they are touched, they are instantly sanitized to remove harmful bacteria. Even in the office kitchen, there may be a need for numerous refrigerators where employees have designated a place to store their lunches. Lights will have motion-sensors also, while doors will be automatic so that no one has to touch anything while walking from one room to another.
4. Meeting Rooms
You will likely be able to allow for more employees to continue working from home if this makes you and your employees more comfortable. With this in mind, you need meeting rooms in which employers can connect with these remote employees through technology that is integrated into the office. The meeting rooms should be smaller too so that multiple meetings can occur simultaneously without a large congregation of people in one room. Make sure that the rooms have automatic doors or swinging doors as well so that no surfaces have to be touched when you enter the room.
5. Signs and Stickers
You have probably seen the signs and stickers at retail and grocery stores that indicate social distancing markers. Offices should implement these signs and stickers in their office spaces as well in order to promote social distancing and to reduce the number of employees who congregate together. This is especially important in front of elevators, by the time clock, or even on the stairs where people have to wait for their turns to go somewhere. Make sure even to make hallways one way with arrow stickers so that employees are not breathing on to each other while in passing.
It is true that the world has changed due to the pandemic, but that change was inevitable to keep everyone safe. One way to continue keeping everyone safe is to implement changes to your office design so that your employees feel comfortable coming to work.