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There is a lot of confusion around the new coronavirus. But one thing is certain: Office design will have to change.
Offices are notorious for the spread of viruses. Therefore, businesses that do return to workplace will have to adapt their office design. In short, they will need to adopt rules to comply with social distancing measures and a new standard of cleanliness.
Companies are likely to change their policies immediately. Moreover, for many companies, the office design will be integral to ensuring working practices align with new government regulations.
Fortunately, many of the solutions businesses will need are already in existence.
Private Booths Will Transform Office Design
The idea for “activity-based workstations” in office design was just beginning to take hold before Covid-19 emptied most offices.
Now, however, social distancing regulations will prompt companies to modify their office design considerably. For one thing, many will install more private booths in order to accommodate and protect their staff members.
Although continued working from home will reduce the number of employees in the office at any one time, an office design that includes private booths will enable businesses to allow more employees in the office on any given day.
What’s more, private booths are acoustically engineered to muffle sound coming in and going out.
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Office Design Will Center on Self-Cleaning Materials
Health and safety officers will have a field day when normal service resumes in the office. Cleanliness will be at the top of the agenda. However, is washing one’s hands every time an employee touches something really an option?
It may not have to be. The request for hygienic, self-disinfecting, and contamination-free surfaces in office design was already growing in demand before the spread of coronavirus.
Self-cleaning materials on door handles and desktops provide a health-friendly solution that does not inconvenience staff. NanoSeptic materials contain mineral nanocrystals that break organic material down into its base components. This creates an oxidation reaction that is stronger than that of bleach, all without using poisons, heavy metals, or harsh chemicals.
Contactless Technology Will Make Offices More Hygienic
The Star Trek-like headquarters of Bee’ah, a waste management company in Sharjah, could become the norm for office design everywhere. The company’s high-tech building is already outfitted with “contactless pathways.”
The office design enables employees to move around the facility without having to touch anything. Motion sensors and facial recognition software operate doors and taps. Additionally, elevators and coffee machines can be operated through a smartphone app. More recently, the company also installed disinfection pods to maximize staff safety during the coronavirus outbreak.
Floor Markings Will Become an Everyday Part of the Office Space
There is no telling how long social distancing rules will last, but it’s fair to say handshakes and hugs won’t be commonplace in the office any time soon.
Companies will probably also be obligated to enforce social distancing solutions in the workplace. Signs will be erected every six feet, and desks in offices with an open-plan design will be strategically placed.
Better Air Filters Will Keep Everyone Healthier
Improved ventilation systems could play a significant role in limiting the spread of Covid-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus becomes airborne when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Advanced ventilation systems that filter the air on a regular basis will reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. Additionally, they will also filter out other viruses, bacteria, and contaminants. All of these can cause office workers to become ill, especially when they must spend hours each day in an office environment.
It is inevitable that businesses will have an obligation to design office spaces in new ways to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19. If you find yourself in the position of having to rethink your office design, make sure you do it properly. In other words, don’t hesitate to hire a professional office designer.