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Reimagining the Workplace Following COVID 19

For many, this is an extremely daunting task to be faced with; reimagining how one’s business should evolve to meet the new normal set by the Coronavirus pandemic. How exactly, can one’s business push forward and arrive at a completely altered working landscape? Will life ever be “normal” again?

For the past six months, normal has become Work From Home. Stay safe, stay home, flatten the curve. But after practicing social distancing and enduring home isolation for the better half of the year, many are beginning to question whether transitioning their team back into an office environment could be possible, and if so, how to keep everyone safe and risk-free during the typical 9-5 workday. To do this, there will have to be many structural and administrative changes to your once well-functioning office environment. This process may not be a cake-walk, and you’ll have to meet this challenge with an open mind, and enough resources to be successful in this transition. Here are the top four ways in which you can adjust to changing times and prepare your business to emerge from the current crisis unscathed.

  1. Spatial Separation

To achieve enhanced health and safety for you and your employees transitioning back into the office, it is going to take some physical reimagining. You’ll need to alter/change the overall layout and respective environment to accommodate the necessity for physical distancing. Remember that many employees are still quite nervous and apprehensive about returning to work and putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. With so many people disregarding government recommendations, it can be understandably hard to know if your peers and coworkers are doing the right thing by wearing a mask/socially distancing outside of the office. As a business owner, the responsibility is on you to ensure your employees are safe when they come into work. Consider ordering modern glass partitions, glass office walls, and easy to disinfect glass office dividers. These spatial solutions offer enhanced barrier and boundary for anyone in the office and will help keep your employees safer and more distanced than normal. They serve a high purpose, allow natural light to flow through the entire office and keep a sense of continuity between employees, raising morale and maintaining a team environment even during the most isolating of times.

2. Enhanced Safety Measures

The next best thing you can do to ensure your office is as safe and as risk-free as possible is to continuously clean, disinfect and manage the health of your working environment. Consider hiring a full-time cleaner or if your company is large enough, a cleaning service that is present the entire workday. They will scrub down surfaces, disinfect and wipe down areas that get high use and traffic such as door handles, bathrooms, communal kitchens, and lounge areas. This way, your employees can feel comfortable existing outside of their little cubicle when necessary. Additionally, require each and every one of your employees to wear a face covering, to refrain from coming into the office if they feel slightly ill, warm, have a runny nose or a cough. Some companies and establishments are even requiring compliance of a routine daily temperature check before entering the building (this applies to both employees and clients alike). Additionally, think about the ways you can evolve your communal spaces, such as kitchens and lounges/co-working stations to become more spaced-out and safer. Move couches and chairs apart to maintain six feet of separation, offer reduced food and beverage options in the communal kitchen area, and ask employees to bring in their own personal utensils and cups.

3. Reduce maximum capacity

An effective tactic in crafting a safe workspace is to stagger workers’ schedules in order to reduce your daily capacity. Organize your employee’s schedules so that some work from home half of the week, while others come into the office, then switch through the week and have the WFH group come into the office and send the others home. While this may be confusing at first, people will fall into this new normal and may even enjoy mixing it up during the week.

Transition your workplace into a safe, welcoming work environment by integrating new techniques, safety measures, and spatial barriers for everyone to benefit from. Install glass office walls, sliding room dividers, and glass sliding doors to allow for increased separation while still maintaining a community feel. A “separate but together” floor plan will become a crucial element throughout this reintegration process to safeguard everyone in the office moving forward. Visit Space Plus, A Division of the Sliding Door Company online for more spatial inspiration,  to view our online catalog, and to Get a quote from one of our professionals today.

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Integrating Separation in the Workplace Following COVID 19

Admittedly, this all sounds rather paradoxical; integrating separation. Yet, this is essentially the new norm moving forward and out of our economic crisis spurred by COVID 19. In order to regain footing in the work world, many are asked to return to the office perhaps a little sooner than feels comfortable. Of course, there are plenty of safety measures in place, precautionary disinfecting, and routine temperature checks. Yet, to spend an entire workday indoors is a frightening commitment for many. So, as an employer, how can you ease the wary minds of your valuable workforce? Below are some of the most ideal spatial integration techniques to ensure you’re providing a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.

Rotating Schedules

In addition to implementing guidelines for enhanced personal hygiene and deep cleaning within the workplace, consider a rotating schedule method. With this system, a select group of employees will work in-office half of the week, while another group works from home, with the two groups switching throughout the week. This way, you can successfully lessen the chances of viral spreading from close quarters and reduce the overall impact within a newly occupied office.

Installing Glass Partitions

Our contemporary business leaders, entrepreneurs, and employees are now transitioning into collaborative, flexible work environments, seeking something different, fresh. Of course, this means that most newer office spaces are designed to be open-air, communal, and unfortunately, not conducive to protecting employees from a deadly virus. It’s not often we find modern-day offices equipped with closed-in cubicles, isolated offices, and physical privacy. Rather, these offices boast sweeping open floor plans, and rows of desks rather than cubicles.

How does one then craft separation within a vast open floor plan without compromising necessary natural light flow, or the essence of togetherness? Seamlessly integrating flexible solutions for the modern workspace includes installing folding glass doors, interior sliding doors, sliding glass walls, office wall partitions, stacking sliding doors, as well as many more glass options. These modern office partitions are not only easy to clean, a total breeze to install, and aesthetically pleasing, but they also provide the protection employees need to remain safer during this time. The key is to maintain a well-lit environment that still offers flexible spatial separation, visual integration, and, (during the current circumstances) protection.

6-foot Feng Shui

Many employers are beginning to welcome their workforce back into the office, equipped with some necessary safety precautions. Because this virus is mostly transmitted through physical contact and one-on-one close interactions, it is crucial in any indoor environment that staff continues to practice social distancing, and remains at least six feet apart. Not only should employees be mindful of the six-foot rule of thumb, but as an employer, it is your job to reconsider the office environment and redesign the space accordingly. Consider moving desks further apart, creating mandatory seating positions, and spacing out communal necessities.  Asking employees to wear masks in more communal spaces such as the break room, the kitchen, or during meetings, comes highly recommended.

With the above methods in use, you should be prepared to receive your hardworking staff with little fear or risk of contraction within the office. Spatial separation, schedule rotations, and for enhanced safety, integration of glass office dividers will be the most crucial element through this reintegration process to safeguard employees, managers, and yourself. Ensure your establishment is as safe as possible for everyone. Visit Space Plus, A Division of the Sliding Door Company online to view our online catalog, and Get a quote from one of our professionals today.

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