Social distancing could be in place until fall 2021, at least.
Perhaps your company plans to go back to work before then, though. Or, maybe you have plans of designing an office space that makes everyone feel comfortable and safe, regardless of when you return.
No matter what, you want to set up your office furniture in a way that keeps social distancing and everyone’s health and safety in mind. Here are our best tips for this very new form of commercial interior design.
1. Create Physical Barriers
Your first step in designing an office space will be creating physical barriers. Along with acting as a barrier, it will remind your team that they should keep their distance from one another.
One easy way to do this is to place dividers between desks. This will be vital if you work in an open-style office space. These dividers will keep co-workers apart, and they make it a little harder for airborne particles to travel around.
2. Choose Hard Surfaces
Next, as you start to choose the pieces to fill your commercial interior design, opt for hard surfaces.
Let’s say that, right now, your office has upholstered furniture and dividers. These pieces aren’t easy to clean, and they may hang onto the germs that you want out of your office space.
If you’re choosing hard surfaces, though, it will be easy for you and your team to keep everything sanitary. You can spritz these pieces with sanitizing spray and wipe them down, which you can’t do with fabric-covered furniture.
3. Spread Out Workspaces
Lots of companies are planning for a more flexible work style after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Your business may plan to have the team come back in groups, for example, so that everyone can spread out in the office.
Still, that may not be enough to keep social distancing in place when everyone arrives. So, consider re-assigning desks so that there’s ample space between the employees who come in each day. This may mean taping off desks that will be out of use or removing unnecessary furniture to make more space.
No matter how you do it, make sure your staff is in charge of cleaning their desks at the end of each day. Everyone should wipe down their workspace so the next group can come into a sanitary, safe environment.
4. Consider Installing Lockers
Some companies have envisioned taking this one step further by installing lockers for their employees. They can store their personal effects, then easily walk around and select somewhere socially distanced to work. As an added bonus, adding such lockers can create screens and dividers between desks and work areas, further dividing up the office.
Plus, having lockers means employees won’t all be touching the drawers of their communal desks. Instead, they’ll sit down and use their computer on the work surface. At the end of the day, they can wipe down the tabletop and locker face for the next user.
Designing an Office Space Starts with Safety
You may have already spent years designing an office space you love. But the current state of the world requires that you change it up – the safety of your team far outweighs the aesthetic of their workspace for now.