Coronavirus Workplace Safety: How To Prepare Your Office For The Return Of Your Staff
While the UK Government has tentatively loosened the restrictions of the current lockdown, we’re still not quite there when it comes to letting workers return to their offices. That day might not be too far away though, so it makes sense to start thinking about how to prepare your office space for the return of your staff amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
Today, we’re going to be helping you do just that.
No more hot desking
Hot desking is where an organisation will decide to let multiple staff share a physical workstation. That is, rather than everyone being allocated an individual seat, workers come and go based on a rota system. This is usually done in an effort to economise on space, and also to help foster a more social culture at the business.
While hot desking has proven very popular over the last decade, this will be one of the first big no-nos post COVID-19. If, however, your business can’t operate properly without a hot desking system (for example, if you run a call centre), then a strict desk-cleaning regime needs to be put in place to ensure that each user arrives at a germ-free desk.
A change in layout
Over the past decade, open-plan office layouts have become the norm. In fact, a 2019 Savills survey indicates that 73% of offices in the UK have adopted this layout, giving you an idea of just how popular they have become. And that’s not all, the open-plan office has become a lot denser. That is, the average space per workstation has dropped from 11.8 square metres in 2008 to 9.6 in 2018.
This, of course, is going to be a problem when we all return to our offices. Firstly, the Government has indicated that the two-metre social distancing rules will still apply. So, with this in mind, there will need to be larger gaps between employees’ desks. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure those gaps are maintained:
Partitioning: one option you have when it comes to ensuring social distancing measures are adhered to is installing physical partitioning between desks. This is probably the best measure to put in place if you don’t have the room to move desks further out.
Floor signage: If you don’t want your open-plan office to become a cubicle-based one, you could consider using floor signage to remind employees to keep their distance. Much like what you might see at supermarkets at the moment, floor signage is a simple, easy-to-implement solution which doesn’t interfere with the structure of your office space.
Hand sanitiser stations
Frequent and rigorous hand washing has been the key instruction given by health organisations over the course of the pandemic, and it will still be an essential part of our daily lives as we move into the post-lockdown phase.
With this in mind, having hand sanitiser stations (ideally touch-free stations) installed at various points around the office – particularly near places such as breakout areas, printers and the reception desk – is something to start thinking about before employees return.
If you’re looking for advice about how to future-proof your office for a post-COVID 19 world, put your trust in Arc Business Interiors. We have a stellar reputation across Nottingham, Leicester, London, Derby, Manchester, Birmingham and the rest of the UK – so if you’d like to find out how we can help you, all you have to do is get in touch.