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COVID 19 – we are operating as normal, our lead times are accurate at the time of publishing but, some items may take longer due to unprecedented demand. Your patience is appreciated.

The Adapted Covid-19 OFFICE

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During the Covid-19 pandemic Office Reality have been writing articles to advise and guide people concerned about reopening and reconfiguring their workplaces. To reactivate the economy and boost business, some of us need to return to the office in a way which minimizes the risk of infection. Its time to think about how we will reconfigure existing and use new office furniture – think safe.

The number of people returning to work will be reduced significantly. Those that can work from home should work from home to achieve social distancing. Our workspaces need to change in line with government guidelines and as a result of Covid -19 workplace risk assessments.

Below, we have created some Before and After visuals of office layouts showing possible workplace changes, which support a reduction in density, social distancing and increased hygiene measures. 

The Reception Area pre-Covid-19 pandemic

For most businesses, their reception area is seen as the statement area. It’s the one space that can provide staff and visitors with a glimpse of a company’s ethos which in turn captures culture and brand values. In this example we have shown the Evo Class two-person reception desk with a centralized recess for wheelchair access (DDA compliant). The reception area shows four Dorchester 2-seater sofas with 2 coffee height tables.

Reception Desk Area Before Covid-19 Pandemic

The Reception Area post - Covid-19 pandemic

Keeping the reception area on-brand, we have introduced a floor standing screen with informational graphics.  The reception counter has been retrofitted with protective thermoformed clear acrylic screens providing protection for the user and visitor, whilst maintaining clear visibility. A non-fixed counter protection screen, with a document pass through gap, has been added. The sofas are replaced with two single tub chairs and integral writing tablets to support laptops and tablets minimizing the risk of contamination. A hand sanitization station is clearly visible when entering and exiting the reception area.

Reception Desk Area After Covid-19 Pandemic

The Breakout Area pre- Covid-19 pandemic

This is a typical example of a Breakout area which includes two collaborative high benches and a three Bodo circular meeting tables with matching seating. The area can accommodate 28 people with 16 seated at the round tables and space for a further 12 on the collaborative Bodo high bench tables - no limitation of the number of people using the kitchen area - no hygiene restrictions!

Breakout Area Before Covid-19 Pandemic by Office Reality

The Breakout Kitchen Area post - Covid-19 pandemic

Tables and chairs have been spaced to ensure safe distancing and mobile glazed floor screens have been introduced to define the area. The capacity has been reduced by 40% and accommodates a maximum of 12 people. Breakout areas are prone to more human movement, social interaction and conversations. The 2m safety distance must always be respected, but when face to face communication is necessary sneeze screens should be installed – lower the risk of transmission. Hygiene points need to be in place near tables and high benches for cleaning before and after use. Wellbeing is key – Screen it! Think about installing protective screens which have a softer organic appearance such as the Conrad rustic wood protection screens and the quirky picket garden fence screen.  

Breakout Area After Covid-19 Pandemic by Office Reality

The Main Office

In this example we see a number reduction of 50%, 16 to 8 in keeping with social distancing guidelines. Where difficulties may arise with occupation it has been suggested that the 16 seats could remain, and teams are split to shifts - morning and afternoon. The 2m recommended safety distance should be always be respected and protection screens have been added to provide greater security for each person. Hygiene points and hand sanitizers have become a must – the norm and a clear desk policy is now in place.  Personal storage has also been introduced in the form of mobile pedestals and fixed lockers.  

Office Before Covid-19 pandemic by Office Reality

Office After Covid-19 pandemic by Office Reality

 

Management Cell Offices 1 & 2

A typical management office, traditionally saw a large desk with a return storage unit and two visitor chairs. However, with social distancing measures in place we have removed the second visitors chair and instinctively introduced  a small ‘pull up’ side table for any documents or laptops. 

Office Layout Covid-19 pandemic by Office Reality

Meeting Room 1

The Before meeting room has a capacity for 8-10 people and the room is generally multipurpose due to the flexibility of the tables being foldaway and on castors. The After meeting room, in this instance has a reduced chair count from 8 to 4 a 50% reduction. The tables have been re positioned and are now for individual use. The meeting room should only be used when essential, and meeting times should be reduced to around 15-30 minutes. 

Meeting Room 2

In keeping with the changes, we have made to Meeting Room 1 we have reduced the density from 6 to 4 and introduced smaller ‘satellite tables’ for each person who cannot access the main table. The table has also been angled at 45 degrees to encourage the occupants to sit diagonally, this is the best possible scenario for a meeting of four. The meeting room should only be used when essential and meeting times should be reduced to 15-30 minutes. A TV screen has been added to this room in response to a rise in video conferencing, which stems from the onset of homeworking and a paradigm shift regarding this communication tool.    

Meeting Rooms Before and After Covid-19 Pandemic

We hope to alleviate any concerns you may have on your journey back to the workplace and we hope you have found some of the information in this guide useful. There are of course many other factors that we need to consider such as contactless technology, air filtration systems and even potential track and trace systems, which may come at a later stage. These are all factors which will be considered during the transitional stage we are currently in and experiencing. During this transitional stage we can reflect on how we use our office spaces and working practices. With offices running at less capacity, less cramming of desks, there will be more available space, which could give way to wellbeing areas, pods and games which are going to increase staff wellbeing levels? Ideally, we would like to return to positive environment which keeps us safe, yet also stimulates us at the same time. If you would like to discuss your ‘After Office’ please do not hesitate to give us a call!

So, it’s back to the ‘new normal’ 
Out with max pack space planning  - cramming as many people as possible into an open plan chicken coop whilst seated at bench style desking. And in with workplace relaxation areas, pods and games which are proven increase wellbeing levels #positivity 
We really hope you have found the information contained within this guide useful. There are, of course, many other factors that we need to consider such as contactless technology, air filtration systems and even potential track and trace systems. Watch this space..
We hope to alleviate any concerns you may have on your journey back to the workplace and we hope you have found some of the information in this guide useful. There are of course many other factors that we need to consider such as contactless technology, air filtration systems and even potential track and trace systems, which may come at a later stage. These are all factors which will be considered during the transitional stage we are currently in and experiencing. During this transitional stage we can reflect on how we use our office spaces and working practices. With offices running at less capacity there will be more available space which could give way to wellbeing areas, pods and games which are going to increase staff wellbeing levels. Ideally, we would like to return to positive environment which keeps us safe, yet also stimulates us at the same time. If you would like to discuss your ‘After Office’ please do not hesitate to give us a call!We hope to alleviate any concerns you may have on your journey back to the workplace and we hope you have found some of the information in this guide useful. There are of course many other factors that we need to consider such as contactless technology, air filtration systems and even potential track and trace systems, which may come at a later stage. These are all factors which will be considered during the transitional stage we are currently in and experiencing. During this transitional stage we can reflect on how we use our office spaces and working practices. With offices running at less capacity there will be more available space which could give way to wellbeing areas, pods and games which are going to increase staff wellbeing levels. Ideally, we would like to return to positive environment which keeps us safe, yet also stimulates us at the same time. If you would like to discuss your ‘After Office’ please do not hesitate to give us a call!

 

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