THE COVID-SECURE OFFICE : SPATIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Updated: Jun 13



When planning your return to the office, here are eight workspace elements to consider to create a safe, healthy and socially connected:


DENSITY

Establish a volunteer policy for return. Some people will need to continue to WFH due to underlying health conditions in their household; some will feel anxious about returning to the office. Split those teams who do want to return to the office in two (Green Team and Blue Team), alternating their on-site weeks. This not only enables double the number of people to return safely, it also adds resilience, as the COVID incubation period is built into the rhythm of work. People work in two-week cycles, four days on-site 10 days at home. Should they catch the virus, their work-from-home period becomes a natural lockdown.

Plan a phased transition from 20% to 40% to 60% of your usual on-site headcount (and while you’re at it, rethink your ‘new normal’).


ARRIVAL

Stagger arrival and departure times into the office to avoid bottlenecking. Encourage bicycle, walking, overground. Avoid underground.


DESK SPACING

Maintain 2m distance to avoid the need for screens, partitions or additional PPE. Repurpose or temporarily remove furniture to provide natural spacing.

CIRCULATION & NAVIGATION

Create a simple, clear and visual circulation system, and signage at key touchpoints to remind and guide behaviours and protocol and support positive behaviours. [think design museum rather than a nuclear hazard zone!]


MEETINGS

Plan essential F2F meetings, practising physical distancing. Use floor graphics to support stand-up group meetings, signage for meeting rooms and at-desk virtual meetings.


VISIBLE HYGIENE

Increased cleaning presence, deep clean protocol in zones where COVID case occurs and sanitising stations at high-touch locations. Include signage and 'Hygiene Helpers' on hand to support etiquette reminders and health anxiety.


EATING, TAKING A BREAK & SOCIALISING

Avoid food preparation onsite, providing fridges shared within work bubbles - teams stay in work bubbles for socialising. Consider including app for ordering subsidised coffee/food.


LEAVING

Where possible, use a different exit to the entrance and establish a ‘leave clean’ routine as people pack up for the day.


TO DOWNLOAD A HI-RES COPY OF THE COVID-SECURE POSTER CLICK HERE.

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