June 26th, 2020 | Best Office Furniture
Living through this pandemic has a long term impact on the way we use public places and workspaces. Even if we find a vaccine months from now, the fear of another outbreak or a new virus spreading will linger on, which leaves the public extra cautious and concerned about their safety as they go back to work. Our outlook and comfort level in public places will never be the same. It poses a challenge for interior designers, developers, and building managers. With health and safety in mind, here are some post-pandemic office design ideas that can help your business prep up for the new normal.
Adapting Hospital Elements into the Office
This pandemic has made us more aware of how our surroundings can be breeding grounds for diseases and viruses. Design experts foresee that new offices may start incorporating some elements in hospital facilities into the workspace. For example, sinks and hygiene stations may now be available in areas other than the restrooms, as well as designated health inspection areas.
Experts are also recommending building owners to invest in materials that can withstand heavy cleaning. Stones and laminates can replace natural oiled wood surfaces. As for flooring, solution-dyed carpets with moisture-barrier backing are a great alternative since these materials can withstand heavy shampooing.
Air filtration systems using UV light is another trend experts are keeping an eye on. Building owners and tenants should consider heavy UV cleaning after office hours to improve air quality in the workspace.
Rethink Meetings and Meeting Spaces
Team huddles used to be fun but not after the pandemic. Gathering in a small conference room with poor ventilation won’t be as comfortable as it used to be. An immediate solution is to consider virtual attendance for staff who do not need to participate in the discussion.
A long term solution is to rethink floor plans and reexamine shared facilities like your meeting rooms. If expanding is not a viable option, then you might want to consider using virtual conference solutions instead.
Adding More Outdoor Spaces
Recent office design trends have always focused on ways to improve connectivity in the workplace. Installing outdoor terraces and roof decks have done just that. These outdoor spaces gave a seamless indoor-outdoor connection to workers.
In a post-pandemic office, there’s added incentive for building owners to add such spaces. Not only does it provide work areas with fresh air, but it also enforces social distancing effectively.
Improve Privacy without Sacrificing Collaboration
Open office designs became such a hit as it helped improve collaboration between co-workers. But post-pandemic, it might not be effective in implementing social distancing guidelines.
When updating an open office layout, cubicles are always a good fit in providing individual space, but you can improve privacy for employees without putting them in a box. Remember to maintain a delicate balance of improving visual privacy, reducing distractions, and still be able to foster collaboration.
Consider Adapting ‘Contactless Office’
Eliminate the need to use communal buttons by investing in smart office solutions (like automated doors, windows, controls, and appliances), which can be accessed using a smartphone app or by simply waving your hand.
Start looking into voice-activated technologies to control lighting, audio, and visual equipment in conference rooms.
Consider door-free entrances similar to airport restrooms. This fix can help reduce the need to touch communal surfaces such as door handles in shared facilities. Install sensor-activated flushes, faucets, and lighting. Not only does this reduce contact points, but it also improves your water and energy consumption.
These are just some post-pandemic office design ideas you can implement to your workspace to help your employees feel more comfortable and confident going back to work. Talk to us at Arenson Office Furniture for a quick consultation on effective office furniture solutions.
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