The socially distanced office
Welcome to the age of professional distancing…
How will social distancing fare in the workplace? We look at some of the measures you can expect when businesses return to the workplace in the near future…
Increased cleaning procedures
Hygiene will be paramount for employers as their staff return to work. Investment in fogging machines will allow cleaners to take on more rigorous deep cleaning routines as well as continued around the clock cleaning, with special focus on key touch points. Individuals will be able to play their part easily by using the added hand sanitisers and gel dispensers found around the building and near tea points.
Distance at desks
Social distancing is likely to be with us for a while, and so to reduce the spread of harmful germs, empty ‘every other chair’ policies will be implemented in breakout spaces. Furthermore, you’ll see empty desks between staff members to help keep your distance and guard screens for further protection. The transparent barriers will be one of the most striking changes to the workplace and allow colleagues to communicate with each other while reducing exposure to airborne bacteria.
Managed human traffic
In the workplace you will be asked to keep to the left, stick to two-metre markings on the floor, and move in a clockwise in communal areas. Managing people flow will also mean reduced capacity in lifts and many employers will stagger staff working hours to avoid busy rooms and packed public transport.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the transmission of germs is by avoiding unnecessary contact with surfaces. Companies will be encouraged to fast-track paperless processes to avoid the handover of documents and rules preventing the sharing of stationary and equipment could follow. Many workplaces will add automatic doors, sensor-activated facilities and RFID or Radio Frequency ID cards for contactless entry.
Tech takes on new importance
Pandemic-proof offices will embrace technology like never before. Fogging machines, devices that sterilise environments by spraying an ionised solution, are just one of the measures gaining popularity. Well-prepared workspaces (such as BE Offices) will also help detect illnesses as early as possible using heat mapping cameras – the special CCTV systems can alert people if their residual temperature is unusually high.