With the new school term just beginning, and many people returning back to the office, company owners are facing the unprecedented challenge of protecting their staff and reducing the potential risk of coronavirus.
It’s extremely important that if you’re back in the office, you’re following the latest government guidance to social distance and implementing various other safety measures.
At Yorkshire Office Group, we’ve been working with many of our local clients around Yorkshire including Wakefield, Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield, Huddersfield and Barnsley to help secure their workplaces.
If you need help ensuring your office is COVID-19 secure, we’ve devised a list of some of the best places you could start:
1) Re-Plan Your Office Layout
First and foremost, you should look at ways you can re-plan your office layout to help ensure social distancing can be made.
Open plan office spaces will still very much continue to exist, just as long as the correct safety measures are implemented. Utilising office furniture will play a key role in allowing this type of office layout to be possible.
You should look at introducing a one-way system around your office, so desks will need to be in a layout that can allow this. Where conceivable, desks should also be positioned in a way that all employees are able to effectively social distance at all times.
If you’re not sure how best to re-design your office space, get in touch with Yorkshire Office Group. We can design your office using 2D and 3D drawings to help you really visualise your space.
2) Rearrange Office Furniture
Whether you’re looking to continue with an open plan office space, or create a more compartmentalised space, your office furniture will need to be utilised in the best possible way.
Partitions and screens are a great way to separate desks, areas of the office, or to create walkways.
Additional office furniture such as extra desks may also be a good idea to help spread out seating arrangements if you are currently using desks that share structural components such as bench desks. Or you may opt for larger desks, that can fit multiple people around them but with social distancing in force. Hot desks should be avoided where at all possible.
You should ensure all employees have their own individual storage units so that people don’t need to move around the office as much or touch the same surfaces.
It’d also be worth purchasing extra office supplies so that each employee has their own individual materials, to restrict the need to share.
3) Include Acrylic Protective Desk Screens
We are now seeing acrylic protective screens everywhere we go. In supermarkets, pharmacies and even pubs and restaurants.
These floor-standing and desktop screens are becoming the new normal and we will see them play an effective role within offices, too, for some time to come. They are transparent so still allow for communication and are easy to clean.
If you don’t quite have the space between each desk to abide to the social distancing guidelines at all times, then these dividing screens will be essential.
It would also be a good provision to have them in place in any communal areas, or meeting rooms where you may see external visitors from time-to-time.
4) Provide Suitable PPE
For added safety and protection, it’s good practice to supply your employees with suitable personal protection equipment.
If space is an issue and social distancing cannot always be maintained, then this will be crucial. Government guidelines also now tell us that research shows face masks will be central to prevent you from passing the virus onto someone else.
Disposable gloves would also be useful within communal areas, such as your office kitchen or canteen for example.
5) Provide Sanitising Products
Every employee should have their own personal hand sanitiser, and it should also be provided in all common spaces and reception areas particularly.
Handwashing facilities, hand sanitiser, surface cleaning products are all mandatory to help stop the spread of the virus.
At Yorkshire Office Group, we have even brought out a ‘Return to Work Starter Pack’ that has everything included that your team should need! This handy kit could be provided to each of your employees, and contains disposable masks, sterowipe alcohol-free cleansing wipes, vinyl gloves and hand sanitising gel.
6) Display Appropriate Signage
Lastly, it’s vital that you provide signage around your office to present important safety information. Signs such as reminding people to wash their hands regularly and to keep to the social distancing guidelines are an effective tool.
You should also set out tape on the floor to display distancing measures around desks, and to display directions for your one-way system.
Office signage is extremely important especially if you have any external visitors coming into your workplace at any point, who may not be aware of your office rules and procedures.
We’re all getting to grips with what will effectively be our new normal for some time to come. At Yorkshire Office Group, we’ve been working tirelessly over this uncertain period to support our customers and help them get back into their workplaces as safely and seamlessly as possible.
If you require assistance ensuring your office is COVID-19 secure, get in touch with us.
We are proud to also offer a consultation, design and installation service! To find out more, give our friendly team a call on 01924 88 88 00, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book a free consultation.