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8 Steps to Create a Safe Office Space During the Pandemic

Discover eight steps you can take with your commercial office furniture if you haven’t figured out how you and your employees can safely return to your office.

It probably comes as no surprise that traditional office settings are changing due to the pandemic. Many people have been working from home, taking turns visiting the office, moving into new offices, or remodeling their old ones to ensure that everyone stays healthy. If you haven’t figured out how you and your employees can safely return to your office, here are eight steps that you can take.

Use One-Ways

In order to ensure social distancing, you may want to rearrange the office so that people use a one-way walking pattern. There should be a clearly marked entrance and exit, and be sure that you leave plenty of space for pathways.

Add Plastic Shields

You may have seen many businesses using plastic shields to separate employees from customers. You can add plastic partitions in your office, as well. Hang the partitions at face-level between employees. You could also invest in new office furniture, such as cubicles with high-sided walls that act as partitions.

Post Signs

Even in a small office, it can be difficult to remember social distancing. Post signs throughout the office in highly visible spots as reminders. You can use arrows on the floors to direct one-way traffic, signs on the bathroom doors to encourage increased hand washing, and distancing reminders near communal gathering spots, such as break rooms or water coolers.

Space Out Commercial Office Furniture

Outdated commercial office furniture configurations, like shared or L-shaped desks, do not allow proper social distancing and as such should be replaced. Fortunately, the 10.74 billion U.S. dollar furniture market has improved options greatly. Now could be the time to visit some online office furniture stores to get new ideas or new, quality office furniture. Look for smaller, individual desks, new-age cubicles, or modular commercial office furniture that offers multiple configurations. Each employee should have a minimum of six feet of space on all sides of their desks. Arrange commercial office furniture, such as bookshelves, filing cabinets, and desks along walls or in corners to space out employees. Bookshelves can even act as partitions between employees when anchored to the wall or ceiling. Look for easy-to-clean surfaces, such as leather or slipcovered chairs as opposed to fabric ones.

Create a Separate Dining Area

If you don’t already have a separate dining area, now is the time to create one. Employees shouldn’t have to remove a face mask to eat at their desks, especially if they aren’t properly spaced out. Germs can spread easily if employees touch food, their mouths, and keyboards or phones. You should have a large open space for them to eat that gives plenty of separation. You could even create an outdoor dining area with space heaters and shade if possible.

Build Stations

You may want to build stations throughout the office to encourage safety measures and cleanliness. At the entrance, build a health check station where employees can have their temperatures taken, get a health assessment, or even take a test prior to entry. You should also build sanitation stations with hand sanitizer, gloves, face masks, or protective eyewear. Stations can be built out of something as simple as a folding table, cabinet, or bookshelf.

Update Materials

If your office is carpeted or difficult to clean, you may want to update the materials to enhance safety. Carpet should be replaced with tile, vinyl, or wood flooring. Counters, cabinets, desks, or storage should be replaced with non-porous materials, such as stone or laminate. Whatever materials you choose, be sure that they can withstand increased cleaning and harsh chemicals.

No-Touch Amenities

Nowadays, you can find numerous no-touch amenities that can keep your employees healthy. Look for automatic soap dispensers, foot-operated doors and trash cans, voice activated appliances, or motion sensor activated elevators. The fewer things you have to touch, the better. You should also invest in a good filtration system or air purifier for the office that can cut down on harmful particles floating in the air.

Working in an office during a pandemic is difficult to navigate. However, follow these steps to maintain employee health and office cleanliness to make the task an easier one. You may have to spend a little money now, but you and your employees will be safer and happier as a result.