Considerations for Workspaces as Employees Return to Work
Recent days have found us in numerous conversations with employers regarding the considerations for workspaces as employees return to work. While many states are beginning to lift stay at home orders, returning to work may be farther in the future for some. National publications, like Forbes, are providing meaningful research on what companies are considering relative to the coronavirus and how it weighs on mental health, productivity and efficiency in their office environments.
Weighing the Scenarios
As we survey human resource executives, CFO’s and business owners, we are seeing the same concerns (along with confusion) as to how they should prepare to bring people back to work. It is clear that about 50% of the executives we talk with are weighing the scenarios (three-person limit on elevators, addressing the comfort of high-risk employees, working with suppliers and partners, etc.) They’re also seeking advice for modifications in their offices including screens, safety walls and sneeze guards. Rotating schedules along with staggering arrival and exit times to alleviate high elevator and entry point usage are additional options. However, as the liabilities and risks are factored in, Forbes and other publications are providing great research on how much they really need the workspaces. Allowing work-from-home opportunities is a very viable option – more so, providing employees with the tools to do so efficiently should be a priority.
Making a Strong, Safe Comeback
We, as a furniture business, are responding with intelligence, space plans and design ideas, consistent with OSHA and CDC guidelines. The image above is from a client with about 130 seats in a specifically open-collaborative environment. The vice president of human resources is doing what she and leadership believe is necessary to give employees peace of mind and comfort as they will phase 20% of the employees back to work over the coming months. We are providing 16” to 20” glass screens throughout their space. Below are examples of inexpensive yet effective solutions for various workstation designs. Contact us today to learn how you can provide social distancing in your office with simple, affordable modifications to your existing furniture. We can also suggest office space design updates and other ideas to help your company not only come back strong, but safe and happy.