The perception of normality has changed significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. The concept of a safe workspace now includes more than it used to and now the office environment must be reevaluated and adapted to the current needs. It is fundamental to ensure that the return to work is as safe and as smooth as possible to create an environment in which people are feeling confident for their wellbeing.
We at Seven Contractors have been working with our experts and businesses to create recommendations for viable changes to your office space. These changes consider new government guidelines as well as office design developments to create a dynamic and safe workplace from the start to the finish of your workday.
Starting the day
Ensuring hygiene standards are kept from the moment people enter the office.
Upon entry, it is highly suggested to have hand sanitizing stations with hand sanitizer available at all times. We endorse having these station positioned appropriately where staff could sanitize their hands after touching doors, lift buttons, rails, and similar objects. Also, it could be worth considering placing contactless temperature checkpoints upon the entrance.
Managing the flow
Minimizing crowding and face to face contact when entering the workplace.
It is recommended to introduce one-way systems or other directional systems that work with your office layout. This will avoid unnecessary face to face contact as well as will manage structured movement. For these management systems, arrows and directional lines can be recommended for efficient navigation.
Creating a safe environment by ensuring your staff members can navigate through the office space by keeping a two-meter distance between each other.
We recommend floor markers that indicate a safe distance in communal areas and hallways. Social distancing posters are also effective in reminding people to keep a safe distance. We appreciate that not all office spaces have the capacity to maintain a two-meter distance at all times, therefore in places where it is not possible, we recommend implementing transmission risk management measures. These would include placing barriers between desks and communal areas where appropriate.
Rearranging the space to reduce face to face contact.
Changing the placement of the office furniture can help minimize face to face contact. It would be useful to consider a back-to-back or side-to-side office layout, or a layout that would work within your office space.
Using your space
A wide approach to your working space.
During these times it is important to use space in an effective manner. This can be done by modifying meeting rooms or any other sensible areas into additional workspaces. These additional working areas will not only create more spaces but also provide reassurance on social distancing. It can be achieved by implementing temporary or mobile barriers, screens, partitions, or shields.
During these challenging times, it is fundamental that your workplace is kept clean and sanitized.
It is highly recommended that cleaning products, such as antibacterial wipes, would be available to all members of staff to ensure that any appliances that were used by the staff (i.e., computers equipment) are thoroughly cleaned before other person uses them. It is also critical to provide additional thorough surface cleanings to minimize the spread of the virus.
Safe Workplace is possible
The latest guidance on health and safety at work can be found on HSE website: https://www.hse.gov.uk/guidance/index.htm
Creating a safe workspace is not as easy as it was before but it is most definitely possible. At Seven Contractors we are delighted to help with any questions regarding office fit-outs, office rearrangements or other commercial refurbishment needs. To take off the burden of your shoulders and make your office a safe place to work – our team is always ready to help.
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