Implementing an open office design used to be a way to give employees a feeling of freedom. It tore down the traditional cubicles and encouraged collaboration. However, that idea now has a new tone as people start to determine when they will stop working at home and return to the office. In a post-pandemic world, health and wellness matter more than anything. And with health experts recommending we still practice social distancing for the foreseeable future, it’s important you take steps to ensure your team members feel safe.
No matter the size of your office, quality design can help ease employees’ fears and make them more productive. Plus, given the nerves that surround groups of people in confined spaces, making areas as low-stress as possible is paramount. Research shows that interior design has the potential to influence health, employee satisfaction and performance — all with subtle changes to improve the physical environment at your office.
Over the years, office design has undergone numerous changes. First, there were cubicles, then open spaces but what can we expect now? Will people want to go back to cubicles and separate spaces with walls, or will they decide that open space ideas are too good to ignore and try to adjust them to modern needs such as social distancing?
Even beyond the ways to redesign your office space to promote health and wellness, there are other routine things that you should keep in mind. First and foremost is cleaning protocols. There are thousands of offices around the country, but many don’t follow regularly assigned seating. This means cleaning, sterilizing and wiping down workspaces and equipment is more important than ever.
Second, it’s important your office is equipped to keep employees educated and informed. Once your team members do return, you’ll need to have bold signage to remind your team members of best practices when working in a shared space. This means keeping hand sanitizer in every conference room, keeping employees at least six feet apart and encouraging your team members to stay home if they feel under the weather. You might also want to install reminders about proper handwashing protocol in each of facility’s bathrooms.
We don’t know how long social distancing measures will last for or what a post-pandemic office space will look like, but we’re here to assist you and your team in this brave new world. In the meantime, we’re also offering virtual consultations to help our clients prepare for what lies ahead. If you’re interested in learning more, call us today at (281) 682-5113.