What we do

It’s not simple, but it’s not hard either

The reality of this situation is that people in an office environment will not be able to maintain a flawless two-metre distance from their colleagues 100% of the day.

This is simply due to fact that the shapes and types of the buildings we work in are not perfect and will inevitably have pinch points. Passing people in communal corridors, stairwells and lifts is simply unavoidable unless you have a huge amount of space.

However, it will be possible to keep a distance whilst within your workplace and at your desks.

For years we have been opening spaces up, making everything more collaborative; lots more sharing. It may now be time for some of those barriers to go back up (hopefully temporarily).

Lots of questions but sadly very few answers.

Let us help change that.

The challenge is that no-one knows what coming back to work looks like, or how to do it. There are no clear guidelines, which is forcing businesses to come to their own conclusions about how to operate their business as normally as possible.

As The Workplace Design Experts, we feel like this challenge is one to be risen to and as such have developed a system for the best practice on how to make your workplace C-19 secure

So… What steps can you take to protect your team?

Making sure that your business is doing the best it
possibly can to minimise the spread of the virus?

1. All doors to have Auto-opening mechanisms, hand sanitiser and clear messaging to remind people to wash their hands on entry.

2. All visitors should be pre-arranged, no spontaneous visits.

3. All staff and visitors to be temperature screened on entry.

4. Visitors and staff to maintain 2 metre distance at all times.

5. Circulation routes and passing points created in corridors.

6. Bins and tissues to be provided in every area.

7. Communal Kitchens and drinks machines should not be used, only bottled drinks or disposable cups. Where possible have a designated person serving Click&Collect drinks to all (Barista).

8. Deliveries (post and packages) should be left untouched for a minimum of 24 hours. Then sprayed with sanitiser before distributing.

9. Use a Room Booking System to prevent overlap of meetings.

10. Meetings should be kept to a minimum and kept short, ideally with a window open. Numbers will vary depending on table/room size, but small groups maintaining 2m distances are acceptable. Meetings should have the option to remotely join (Skype, Zoom, Teams etc).

11. The use of private offices is encouraged, with a 2 metre distance maintained at all times within.

12. Communal tables should be for one person only and the surface should be cleaned down with sanitising wipes afterwards.

13. No-one to sit next to each other unless using screening and staggering. The centre of desk should be no less than 2m distance from next centre of desk. Remember to screen the corridor too.

14. Collaboration will need to happen at a 2m distance or using remote connectivity.

15. Minimise photocopying and printing, paper must be loaded using gloves. Prints should be collected using a personal printer card, not using the buttons. Alternatively have personal printers on desks.

16. Encourage remote conferencing where possible.

17. Work from home if and when you can.

Configuration:

Standard Desking

People occupying the desks as they always have.

Occupancy: 100%

Configuration:

Staggered Desking

Pros:
– People do not sit next to each other and maintain a 2m or
more distance diagonally accross from each other.
Cons:
– People can’t sit at a bench desk with no protection.
– The occupancy is at 50%.
– People sitting adjacent to corridors are protected.
– People back to back are protected

Occupancy:
50%

Configuration:

Staggered Desking+

Pros:
– People do not sit next to each other and maintain
a 2m or more distance diagonally accross from each other.
with Glass or Perspex screens used between those facing each other.
Cons:
– The occupancy is at 50%
– People sitting adjacent to corridors are protected.
– People back to back are protected.
Occupancy:
50%

Configuration:

Staggered Desking+ Split

Pros:
– People do not sit next to each other and maintain
a 2m or more distance diagonally accross from each other.
with Glass or Perspex screens used between those facing each other.
– Splitting the bench so that 2 teams could split the week
in the office.
Cons:
– The occupancy is at 50%
– People sitting adjacent to corridors are protected.
– People back to back are protected.

Occupancy: 50%

Configuration:

Desk Screening

Pros:
– The occupancy is at its highest.
– People can sit next to each other with a Glass or Perspex
screen used between those adjacent and facing each other.
Cons:
– People sitting adjacent to corridors aren’t protected.
– People back to back aren’t protected.
Occupancy: 100%

Configuration:

Desk Screening+

Pros:
– The occupancy is at its highest
– People can sit next to each other with a Glass or Perspex
screen used between those adjacent and facing each other.
– People sitting adjacent to corridors are protected.
Cons:.
– People back to back aren’t protected.
Occupancy: 100%

Configuration:

Desk Screening B2B Configuration:

Pros:
– The occupancy is at its highest
– People can sit next to each other with a Glass or Perspex
screen used between those adjacent and facing each other.
– People sitting adjancent to corridors are protected.
– People collaborate back to back.
Cons:.
– None
Occupancy: 100%

Configuration

Full Screening

Pros:
– The occupancy is at its highest
– People can sit next to each other with a Glass or Perspex
screen used between those adjacent and facing each other.
– People sitting adjacent to corridors are protected.
– People back to back are protected.
Cons:.
– None.
Occupancy:
100%

Aside from the desk positions, what other things should be considered?

Don’t use Lifts (unless you have to) Use the stairs instead.

Ensure that you have a robust cleaning regime. Every half an hour a designated member of staff should spray regularly touched surfaces with the appropriate cleaning product (For example: D-10).
Meticulously clean the entire space every night too.

Provide your staff with testing kits.

Discuss with you team how they intend to travel to work, minimising the use of Public Transport where possible.

Any used PPE must be disposed of on entry to your workplace.

Hands must be washed immediately on entry to your workplace.

Each desk must be kept private; there is NO DESK SHARING. Keyboard, Mouse, Pedestal, Screen, Stationery must all be kept for your own usage only. NO SHARING.

Each member of your team should have their own hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes.

There are so many things that need to be thought about to help get your team back to work as normally as possible.

Minimise physical interactions and talk at a distance. No physical contact; handshakes, high-5’s or elbow/foot touching.

Social Distancing to be adhered to in Meeting Rooms and any other shared spaces.

Corridors to be clearly marked out with distances and direction of travel. Tape is unsuitable for this.

Always cough or sneeze into a tissue. Dispose of the tissue in a bin and wash your hands straight after.

DO NOT SHARE FOOD – Bring your own food from home or a shop and eat at your desk.

There should be reminder signage distributed throughout the space. We have a MARIS Signage Pack that we can share with you.

Any collaborative spaces must be wiped down after use.

Ensure that your team have the IT support to be able to work from home. Work from home if and when you can.

If you have any signs of illness; act according to Government Guidelines and isolate yourself and DO NOT RISK THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

But why go to the office? Working
from home is amazing, I love it!

For some maybe, for others it is quite the opposite.

Ergonomics
Working from home can mean sitting on a variety of different types of furniture. RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) claims will go up due to the lack of ergonomic furniture at peoples homes. It could be the emplyers responsibility to provide furniture for their employees.

Recruitment
How do you define your organisation?
How do you create a culture, brand or community spirit?
What makes you stand out more than another organisation in your sector?

House Sharing
People who live in a house or apartment with others may have limited or no space to work, along with the fact that their housemates may also be working from home and trying to hold their own conference calls without distraction or interruptions. If you’re in the same room, how does that work?

Mental Health
There are countless issues caused by working from home and being alone all day. Some people may want to come to work and they may also require extra support.

Online Conference Calls
At first a novelty, and for some they work perfectly, but for many they are chaotic. Not knowing when to speak, people are very easily distracted and often not really present. There is of course the obligatory 5-10 minutes of waiting for people to join, links to the meeting not working, microphone or camera and internet speed issues.

Security
Extra consideration for confidentiality may be required for competitors who home share.

What about the Restroom?

  • Motion sensor door opening means no touching of any doors coming in or going out.
  • Dyson ‘Airblade’ tap washes and dries your hands, being positioned over the sink means that no water ends up on the floor which keeps the floor clean. It also filters the air!
  • Motion sensor soap and sanitiser dispenser.
  • Trough sink allows water to flow away immediately, no stagnant water minimises germs.
  • Having tissues everywhere, means there is less chance of sneezing on any surfaces.
  • Pedal bin requires only your foot to touch and means tissues can be disposed of quickly and easily.
  • Door handles could be copper or brass, both of which are anti-microbial materials. They must still be cleaned every half an hour.
  • Motion sensor flushing.
  • Hygiene reminder signage.
  • Distance markers in the flooring.

We want to create spaces that people will be happier in, that are enjoyable to dwell in and that people WANT to spend time in. We champion the creation of spaces that are stimulating, intuitive, clever and efficient, not only from a workflow point of view, but also a space saving point of view. Importantly, they must be productive and inspiring environments.

COLIN OWEN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR