As some parts of the world start to re-open, some businesses are slowly starting to bring employees back to their place of work. Although this is generally a sign of economic recovery and improvement in the pandemic scenario. Businesses still need to be aware of the possibilities of contamination and infection of people in the workplace. Companies now will need to reconfigure their office workplace to adapt to this “new normal”. Below are some potential considerations to keep in mind as you prepare your office for work both during and post-COVID-19.
Examine your space
Office & Commercial buildings and spaces can vary given the geographical area and the time in which the building was built. However, a majority of office spaces contain a main lobby, reception area, kitchen and cafeteria area, restrooms, offices, cubicle or open floor work areas, meeting spaces, and conference rooms. To give yourself a holistic view of your office workspace, we recommend pulling out the floor plans of your building and examining these areas further.
Determine areas that need to be Reconfigured
When looking at floor plans, you should first determine where the high traffic areas are located. Typically this will be the main lobby, stairs or elevators, and the reception area. Limit the number of entrances to your building or office so that you can have more control over who comes and goes. When it comes to areas if they are furnished with public seating, you may want to remove the public seating or rearrange it appropriately to facilitate physical distancing when in use.
The reception area in an office building is typically highly trafficked and is the first point of contact with outside visitors. In this area you may need to make modifications to the front reception area such as installing plexiglass to protect the receptionist and establish visitor protocols. The goal is to minimize the amount of time people are congregating in this area. This may involve staggering appointment times, removing or reconfiguring public seating. Make sure that hand sanitizer or face masks are available upon entry to the building. It is important to still implement visitors logging in and getting details, including their phone numbers for contact tracing purposes.
Kitchen & Cafeteria Area
Congregating around the water fountain will likely be a thing of the past, (for now). Kitchen & Cafeteria areas are challenging because there are numerous touchpoints and frequent visitors. If you have tables and chairs in this area, you may want to remove at least half of the furniture and get the professional movers to space them out. It is important to establish protocols such as social distancing and the number of people allowed in the kitchen area.
Meeting Space/ Conference Rooms
Determine how many people can safely occupy a meeting room with appropriate physical distancing and take steps to obtain compliance, including removing seating to facilitate physical distancing.
There are many options available when it comes to ensuring an employee is safe and remains healthy within their workspace. If you have employees working in an open office concept with multiple workstations, it is recommended to get the professional moving company to install sneeze and cough guards between workstations, this will limit any droplets transferring between employees and will give your staff a feeling of assurance and safety within their work environment. Sneeze and cough guards are typically constructed out of plexiglass and are customizable to the unique needs of your space.
As you go through your office and determine the changes that need to be made, you may determine you have excess furniture and less room. Another option to look into is temporary heated secure storage. If you hired a professional moving company, check to see what storage solutions they may offer.
Adapt and go
As the days, weeks and months go on, your workplace will continue to adapt to the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. It is good practice to assess the workplace flow of your office and address challenges as they arise. You may need to adapt and continue to make changes and that’s ok.
If you need an Edmonton Moving Company or Calgary Moving Company to assist you in the reconfiguration part of your office reopening contact Matco Moving Solutions to get the process started. You got this!