How To Update Your Office To Be COVID-19 Compliant
The Corona Class Virus spreads very quickly, and the average time that an employee is out with the COVID-19 virus is two to three weeks. That is two to three weeks of lost productivity. You may be wondering what you can do to keep your employees and clients safe from this or any virus. You can start by modifying your offices and practices according to the CDC guidelines, to prevent spreading illnesses throughout the office. That is why we’ve taken what was learned over the last year and applied it in order to help our customers get back to business.
We created a step-by-step assessment analyzing your current office space with the following in mind.
- Six-foot distance between employees (If less, there are solutions).
- Airflow/purification requirements
- Location of sanitation stations
- Guidance on breakrooms
- Guidance on cleaning requirements
Our assessment begins with a phone call to discuss your concerns. Then, we meet at your location to review the above. Finally, we will provide a strategy to move forward.
Sign up for your Complimentary Covid-Compliant Work Space Assessment
The COVID-19 pandemic has re-defined what a safe work environment looks like, and more companies are having to rethink the design of their offices. Changing the way things are done isn’t new for the business world, as offices have undergone several transitions over the last few decades. Confined office space has morphed into open areas with cubicles to establish privacy. While many appreciate the open layout, it isn’t a design that works to stop COVID-19. Fortunately, our team at Collaborative Office Interiors has a plan to get you COVID compliant.
Solve the Problem of Social Distancing
Perhaps the most challenging part of redesigning an office in a post-pandemic world is social distancing. Even when masks are worn, there is still the caution to remain several feet apart at all times. In a crowded work environment, this can be difficult. While many companies are moving toward plexiglass barriers as a temporary solution, this isn’t always the most attractive or beneficial option. Some alternatives can create appropriate distance between individuals.
1. Physical Barriers
Plexiglass or other transparent shields are one way to limit personal contact at the office or in the reception area, but you can use physical barriers as well. However, you don’t want to start moving furniture around without prior planning. You need to consider workflow and efficiency. This is why bringing in our professional design team from Collaborative Office Interiors to help is a great idea. You will get insight into attractive new arrangements that don’t hinder productivity.
Demountable walls or partitions are easy to put up or relocate depending on who is in the office for the day. These allow light to continue filtering through the area, preventing feelings of claustrophobia or having to work in dim lighting conditions. Arrange workstations where the desks or surfaces put the needed space between individuals. Groupings of plants can make barriers between seating areas without being obstructive or overbearing. Unique styles of seating in waiting areas and creative arrangements can also reduce close contact situations.
2. Staggered Schedules
Not all companies have the option of staggering work schedules, but as teams of employees prepare to return to work, coming up with alternating schedules can reduce how many people are in the office at a given time. Many offices were able to transition to remote employment situations at the initial outbreak, and it would be wise to continue this to some degree as you return to normal. You can work with our COI designers to create workspaces conducive to teleconferencing, keeping those in the office in touch with those working remotely.
Pay Attention to Cleanliness
Another huge part of remaining COVID compliant is paying attention to the extra cleaning and sanitation that needs to occur in the office. While hand sanitizer and hand washing play a role in keeping germs from spreading, there needs to be vigilance in cleaning the office. Many of the surfaces will be touched by dozens of people throughout the day, and if left alone, they could easily spread the virus to many in a single day. Office furniture, door handles, and other common touchpoints need to be cleaned throughout the day.
1. Office Furniture
Office furniture requires some TLC if it is going to stay in great shape and keep your office looking professional. Some pieces will need special cleaners and cleaning cloths to avoid being scratched or damaged. If you need to update your furniture to pieces that are easy to maintain and yet have a modern, professional vibe, connect with our COI design team to find what unique layout and look we can create for your office.
2. Air Quality
In addition to looking into furniture that can be easily cleaned and establishing a routine cleaning schedule, you need to consider the entire work environment’s air quality. Since COVID-19 is an airborne virus, updating the air filters in your heating and air system can help reduce the circulation of the virus through the air. Using an air purifier or the highest minimum efficiency reporting value filter your unit can force air through (such as 14 or higher) can reduce the possibility of infectious diseases and bacteria being transferred through the air.
Make Compliance a Personal Responsibility
As a company, you should set the expectations for COVID-19 compliance, either through encouraging or requiring masks in your spaces, disinfection routines, or flow of traffic guidelines. However, you need to make sure all employees are a part of the solution to stopping the spread. Communicate all procedures or updates, and provide channels for feedback or offer support to employees who still have concerns. Use signs around the office for hygiene and distancing reminders, and provide sanitizer and any necessary personal protective equipment.
Create a Desirable Office Space
Even amid the pandemic, you can create a safe, compliant office environment that has your team motivated to come to work. Reach out to one of our Collaborative Office Interiors specialists at 713-597-2346 to find out more about our design and furniture options for your space.
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