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From the office and desk of the “Chair-Man” – Perry Arenson.

Social Distancing in the Workplace: Where to Start?

July 27th, 2020 | Best Office Furniture

Is your workplace ready for the new normal? The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an end to our old office lives and paved the way to a new age of public-health awareness, improved hygiene and sanitation, and social distancing at the workplace.

Social distancing at the workplace aids in limiting the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases and, at the same time, helps us get back to business. As more businesses and offices are reopening, and with employees going back to work, this creates pressure on building managers, bosses and office managers to start rethinking their spaces and identify and mitigate health risks.

We, at Arenson Office Furniture, listed a couple of points below to help you start envisioning social distancing at the office and help you adapt to the new normal.

 

Privacy Screens and Panel Systems

Installing panel systems or privacy screens is one of the quick effective solutions to help you create space between coworkers.

Our privacy screens are made with ¼ thick acrylic and are easy to disinfect and clean. These are available in several widths and heights for maximum coverage. Each cutout is 4” high and extends the full width of the panel less 6” from each side.

 

Reduce Face-to-Face Encounters

Redesigning your floor layout and reducing face-to-face positioning among employees is another way to implement social distancing at the workplace. Switch seating layout to a back-to-back orientation or front-to-back.

Keep distance in mind. Six (6) feet is the average distance that droplets from a sneeze or cough travel before they settle or get inhaled by another person. If the space allows, separate seats according to the recommended distance and install dividers where possible. You can also transform conference rooms to additional spaces where employees can work.

Limit the number of people using meeting spaces. Consider a hybrid approach to group huddles by using video conferencing tools especially if you have small meeting rooms with poor ventilation.

If possible, stay home and work from home. Implementing a rotational work schedule can significantly help decrease the number of people entering and leaving the office daily. By creating a schedule of who goes to the office on certain days and who works from home, you can effectively reduce workplace population density by up to 20 percent.

 

Reduce Touch Points

One of the most overlooked yet frequently used communal items at the office are the drawers and file cabinets. It’s time to make a switch! Reduce touch points and assign lockers and file drawers to individuals to separate personal items.

For long term investments, consider looking into smart office equipment that your team can access or control via smartphones or computers. A good example would be smart printers. Not only does it cut costs by helping you monitor printing activities but also helps reduce touch points by using voice activation control or an app.

 

These are some things you can improve at your workplace to help you start implementing social distancing. We hope that some of the ideas presented here provide some direction.

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