As the country returns to work this summer, 50% of US Employees are worried about workplace exposure to COVID-19. The good news is that 71% have confidence that their employers will take action to create safe workplace environments.1
A crucial part of safely welcoming employees back to the office is following the CDC’s recommendations to deter the spread of COVID-19 in offices. While the guidance does include wearing masks, temperature and symptom checks, limiting the number of employees and improving airflow, the 6-foot rule may be the most important.
There’s a new normal to the way we’re working that’s forcing us to revisit every action we take in the office. After working from home for months, returning to the office is a major adjustment. With some employees continuing to work home, employers need to take that factor into consideration when planning office space reconfiguration. Offices and staff are not the same as they were six months ago. Workplace designs will need to adjust to accommodate physical distancing, fewer staff and telecommunication needs. A simple start to new office plans will consist of designated traffic flow patterns to help people avoid cross or intersecting with each other and closing off common areas to prevent workers from gathering.
The best way to start planning is to perform a detailed review of the current workspace configuration. After an audit has been completed, the following are some steps that can be taken:
- Eliminate reception seating areas and request that guests phone ahead
- Remove or reconfigure seats, furniture and workstations to adhere to the physical distancing guidelines
- Reconfigure workstations so that employees do not face each other
- Install plastic partitions in between desks or in reception areas
- Repurpose conference rooms
There are a lot options to utilize existing space and furniture by simply moving and rotating desks. If downsizing office space the proper virtual meeting tools should be installed, including new phone system, virtual teleconference capabilities
The procedures that need be taken in order to return to work safely will vary from business to business. Whether you’re downsizing or looking for a new flexible office space, following local and federal guidelines will help you navigate these unprecedented processes.
To learn about The Advance Group’s Workplace Reconfiguration Services, Specialty Solutions and Technology Services, click here.
1. According to an April 2020 poll conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting of 1,000 respondents