The question isn’t if the traditional office as we once knew it will change in the weeks, months and years following COVID-19 but how.
Without a doubt, the past year has been an afront to the normal work life, changing how and where we work and challenging businesses as they attempt to adapt to flexible conditions. As we move back toward a pre-pandemic landscape (if ever we do completely), businesses will be charged with a heightened responsibility to ensure employee safety – and that will begin with a six-foot distance between workstations.
Depending on the way you look at it, a recent trend toward smaller office desks could be a good or a bad thing post COVID-19. Desks have down-sized over the years, in large part due to printers, fax machines, computers, phone systems, etc. becoming more compact in size. Businesses will now have to examine whether it makes sense to increase desk sizes to accommodate social distancing or merely allow for more free space in between work stations.
The open floor plan concept has been popular for some time now, and it is definitely not going away! Open floor plans are easier to clean and limit the amount of surface areas employees touch. Also, its been well documented that proper ventilation is key to preventing the spread of COVID and other pathogens; an open floor plan where windows can be opened can go a long way toward improving office ventilation.
File this under the “small things matter” category, but businesses may want to consider investing in disposable, recyclable desk place mats that can be changed daily, providing an extra layer of safety against germs.
Fingers crossed we are turning the page toward a new chapter in the workplace story – one that will require many businesses to think outside the box to ensure the safety and comfort of employees.
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