At the start of 2020 no one could have expected the year to unfold as it has. For many companies, their offices became empty for several months and remote working became the norm. Now with the return to the office gradually taking place, we have taken a look at what we expect to see happen in the world of office design, and will explain how we have already adapted our service to accommodate changes in the workplace.
- Sanitation procedures: Making sure there are hand sanitiser dispensers at entry points and key areas of the office will be important. Limiting the flow of traffic through those key areas, by staggering start and finish times or alternating ‘office days’ and ‘home days’ for individual team members will also help to reduce the risk of infection at those points.
- Reduced use of communal facilities and storage: As companies look for ways to reduce further the risk of infection from contaminated surfaces, shared areas and facilities like tea points, breakout areas and even games rooms will be closed. Instead, each individual will be given more space around their workstation and each work station may well grow in size as storage solutions such as lockers, file drawers and cabinets are allocated to individuals. These larger, more spread out work stations will encroach into the former shared spaces.
- Hands-free technology: Installing new technology to limit the need to contact commonly touched items will help protect staff. For example, having touch-free door entry can be a useful tool to have for preventing potential infection when accessing business premises.
- Office culture: Moving forward, employees will want to feel safe and secure in the workplace. Having trust between management and staff will be important, and having the right procedures in place that everyone can follow clearly will help with this.
These are definite trends which have already started happening throughout the pandemic, and will surely be the way forward for businesses who are considering new office design ideas and plans. At Glenside we are in a position to help you adapt your current office to meet the requirements of the new normal. What is more, with those requirements met, staff will be able to return to the office in a way that safely enhances team spirit, boosts morale, aids wellbeing and raises productivity.
Please contact us to discuss how office design can help with the return to work.