By Michael White, Managing Director, Posture Team
Returning to the workplace during or after the pandemic is always going to be worrisome for most. Business owners will now have to work harder than ever to ensure that their employees can work in a safe environment and is preventing the spread of the virus. With the social distancing rule of 2m space from those outside your household still in place for some time, it seems, how do workplaces go about business but still protect their workforce?
It’s going to be very important in the next few weeks and months to consider redesigning your workspace so that it is social distancing friendly. It could be a make or break decision for your company to put the correct things into place so that you can operate as normal as possible and at a capacity that is safe for everyone. For more information, please follow the Government guidelines.
Here are some things to consider when redesigning your workspace;
Ask the question
Before you go about a full redesign of your office, consider the important question of can your employees work from home? The working from home initiative is important in the prevention of spread but we understand that in a lot of cases, individuals cannot work from their home. If some of your employees are being encouraged to come back to work because they cannot do so in their home, ensure that you continue allowing those that can to do so. This helps to minimise people being in your business property when they don’t necessarily need to be at this time.
Follow the 2m rule
Continuing the discussion of having your own workspace, employees desks and surroundings should be at absolutely minimum 2 metres apart from each other so that social distancing can be evident. Not only this but consider your walkways of where your employees come in and out of the office to travel to their desks and any routes to toilets etc. They should not have to break the 2m rule just to walk past someone’s desk to get to theirs.
If within your workplace your employees do have to engage with others, consider the utilisation of sneeze screens to separate them from who they are going to be in contact with. We can imagine these will become a very popular way that will allow workers to go back into work yet still stay protected. It will assist reception areas, shop workers and any other type of work where employees come into contact with others. These physical barriers will be crucial in getting some places of work back up and running efficiently.
We would expect to see workplaces take their cleanliness more seriously than ever before. There will be an increase in the cleaning of own workspaces and the areas as a whole as well as signals for individuals to consider their personal hygiene. One way to ensure that rules are followed is to install hand sanitiser stations throughout your business property, especially at exits/entrances and toilets.
As businesses begin to recover from a tough time, there are certain rules and regulations that should be followed. Many may need assistance with their office fit out so that it complies to these rules and put their employees first. Only allow employees into your premises that can’t work from home and enforce strict rules to ensure the safety of your workers.
Hot desking has been on the rise in the past few years and does have many benefits. We would recommend removing/adapting this style of working immediately to follow the guidelines, as it can cause contamination to occur if not careful. Co-working is a great concept but will need to change/adapt to the new challenges of the current situation. Workstations should be assigned to an individual where possible and not shared. If this is not possible, they should be shared by the smallest possible number of people and cleaned thoroughly in between occupants.
Please ensure you follow Government guidelines and should you have any concerns, contact your business space provider for support and reassurance.
For more information and support with DSE assessments, office re-design and fit out services contact Posture Team on 0191 516 6226 or email email@example.com