How to Implement Physical Distancing in your Office
A Multilayered Line of Defense
As companies around the country roll out their re-openings, employees are counting on their employers to create a safe workplace to return to. Enclosed is a multilayered line of defense employers can activate in an effort to define, meet and enforce safety measures most applicable to your work style.
Though the office will likely be forever changed by this pandemic, it isn’t going away
Many people still want and need to come into the office, both during and after the pandemic is over. The office provides opportunities to connect and collaborate; influences workplace community and company culture; and supports better work-life balance, by clearly defining boundaries between the two. Though the office will likely be forever changed by this pandemic, it isn’t going away; evolution and adaptation are imperative to better support productivity and employee health and well-being.
As a contract furniture designer and dealer in Portland, Rose City Office Furnishings has been developing space planning and furniture solutions to reduce the spread of coronavirus and help protect employees. As many know, the best way to reduce the spread is for employees to work remotely – but this isn’t always possible or desirable. Luckily, there are many measures you can take to help increase physical distancing between employees and protect the safety of your staff!
To help reduce the risk of a workplace outbreak of COVID-19, employees should work from home whenever possible. Altering employees in office/home office days, breaks and shared space can be effective in limiting contact.
RECONFIGURE THE OFFICE LAYOUT
An alternative to reconfiguring your workstations is to have only 25-50% occupancy at a time, alternating occupied stations.
Workstations should be spaced so that users are at least six feet apart, even when moving within their work zones or walking down aisles. Desks should be pointed away from each other to mitigate droplet contact. Masks should be worn to further decrease droplet reach. Many existing workstations can be reconfigured to accommodate these changes.
Additionally, since face-to-face meetings should be greatly reduced, meeting and conference spaces can be adjusted to provide more square footage for individual work.
For more ideas about how to reconfigure your existing furniture to comply with physical distancing guidelines, check out this article from one of our partner manufacturers, Global Furniture Group or
contact our office for a consultation.
Adding division between workers is one of the most effective ways of decreasing the spread of COVID 19 by stopping droplets in their tracks. Adding height to existing work stations in the form of acrylic, PETG, glass or fabric stackers can limit droplet trajectory; each item coming with their own set of benefits. For example, acrylic is very cost effect, while glass doubles as a writing surface. You may also consider ceiling-hung acoustic dividers in high traffic areas to define space and protect workers from aisle traffic.
Enwork features many great products to help break up space between employees
REDUCE DENSITY IN SHARED SPACES
Lounges, breakrooms, and conference spaces may still be necessary, but reducing density is a must. Keep groups to only key personnel, remove chairs and space tables apart to allow for at least six feet of distance. Every space should have a “clean-in, clean-out” station, with signage to remind people to use best practices for health and safety.
REMIND OCCUPANTS OF SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Even the most cautious of us still need reminding to wear our masks or maintain six feet distance from others. We also need to know about preferred traffic patterns to reduce contact with others. Installing safety signage and sanitization stations in your office will help protect everyone entering your office. Contact us for customized signage packages that fit your needs.
2/90 Signs offers a series of products to help you get back to work
Our furniture designers and manufacturers have been hard at work developing re-opening protocols to help offices stay healthy: sanitization stations, antimicrobial materials, privacy panels and space planning solutions. Investing in your employees’ health and well-being is one of the best investments a business can make. Rose City Office Furnishing has a team of designers and consultants ready to tailor a new office plan to fit your needs. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you!