How to set-up an office for the “new normal” after coronavirus
The team here at Solutions 4 Office get asked this question a lot and our advice hasn’t differed much over the last couple of months. We encourage customers to review our socially distanced furniture but we also recommend businesses follow Government guidelines:
- Work from home, if you can
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
Working through these steps and seeking feedback from your employees will see your “new normal” office take shape. It’s going to be unique for every company as it’s wholly dependent on their ability to continue working from home, servicing clients and the obvious…ability to keep paying rent for an office that is currently redundant.
Whether you’re a CEO, Manager or Team Leader, your staff’s safety is paramount. Here are five office-focussed steps that will support your back to work plan.
- Survey your workforce
Ultimately, you need feedback from your employees to help steer your back to work plan. We’re working in unprecedented times so by communicating with your teams, you’ll help reduce their anxiety levels.
- Locate your office floor plan
Every office will have some form of paper and/or digital office floorplan which highlights health and safety points i.e. fire exits. Solutions 4 Office can create CAD (computer aided-design) drawings or work from a basic PDF to create a covid-friendly office plan fit to welcome employees back to work.
- Update front of house/reception areas with protective screens
Socially distanced office furniture includes protective screens for reception desks and front of house spaces. They’re installed to keep employees and visitors safe and facilitate social distancing. Your reception point is a high risk area (because of the number of people that come in contact with it), that needs specific attention to mitigate risk.
- Review desk formations to adhere to social distancing
As lockdown eases, employees will be able to return to work but first, you’ll need to carry out an office audit and review social distancing throughout the office.
- Support employees who choose to work from home
Until the threat level of Covid 19 drops, many companies will extend their work from home policy until the end of the year. Ensure they are adequately equipped to work from home comfortably – investment into home office furniture can support your staffs productivity.
There’s a wealth of information online, like this article from Forbes, Here’s How Firms Can Prepare For The New Normal After Coronavirus, which offers a comprehensive summary for businesses. For space planning advice and a recap of how to socially distance your office – please take a look at this previous blog post.
If you’d like to sound out your back to work plan with us, or perhaps you’re seeking office furniture quotes, please drop us an email via the contact page.