Have you thought about returning to work? With the potential of returning to regular work an imminent reality, we have pulled together 10 Steps to a Safe Workspace. What will the post covid workplace look like? We have already explored the first 5 steps so if you have missed this please read Part 1 first. We hope you like the following 5 steps and get in touch if you require anything for your office.
Step 6 – Flexible Working
For the time being most organisations are going to have to simply reduce the number of staff within the office at any one time. Also, some of your team won’t be comfortable coming to work, travelling by public transport and will prefer to work at home. Each organisation will be unique in their approach depending on space available and ability to work remotely but here are a few suggestions;
- Split Weeks – creating a rota whereby team members work 3 days at home and 3 days in the office. This allows all disciplines to have a representative in the office at all times
- Team Rotation – similar but by team, whole teams at home one week then in the next. (the above very much depends on nature of business)
- Home working – the above only works with a positive attitude from senior management towards Home Working. Reducing a feeling of “Presenteeism” will allow your team to be comfortable with home working. It is essential that your IT, server access, laptop provision and VPN is good enough to support strong home working. Use Zoom, Teams, Skype etc to arrange social meet ups, project meetings, support groups to ensure no-one feels abandoned.
Step 7 – Wellness
With the health of your team being your number one priority, wellness is very important when returning to the workplace – reiterating on previous points, the following can be considered:
- Connection to the outdoors – introducing more planting and better air quality
- Access to health initiatives – physical challenges and mental support systems.
- Social interaction – encourage collaboration and social zones, but ones that comply to distancing rules
- Choice of work settings and flexible working, including home working
Step 8 – Keeping your Distance
De-densifying is the key to having safe distance in between your team in workspaces, circulation, collaboration and social zones:
- Consider using every other desk to create a spatial buffer, ideally not facing opposite one another
- Widen circulation, if space allows you to do so.
- Space between soft seating / waiting areas/ collaboration spaces
- A variety of single seated zones in breakout and tea point areas.
- Introduce graphics for spatial awareness and guidance.
Step 9 & 10 – Furniture Solutions & Screens
Innovative furniture solutions can be introduced to shield transmission of the virus to surrounding colleagues, create zones, as well as offer a choice of work setting;
- Phone booths with microbe killing lighting
- Variety of screens to shield each work station with a variety of materials. These can be clear plexi glass to allow effective communication
- Introducing storage planters to create zones or navigate a social distance buffer.
- Disposable and recyclable desk mats to ensure less surface contact
Full Government Guidelines: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/offices-and-contact-centres