It is abundantly clear that Covid-19 (Coronavirus) will affect how many businesses operate for the foreseeable future, maybe even forever, and the wellbeing, health and safety of employees should be the priority in any office re-opening plans.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean a complete re-design and build of your office or workspace.
Some media outlets and experts have talked about “re-inventing the office” and a potential return to 80s-style cubicles, but Opus4 MD Daniel Blackburn firmly believes that this doesn’t need to be the case, quite the opposite, and in fact, the answer is much more cost effective.
Discussing how Covid1-19 could change the office environment and how we work, Daniel said: “While I understand employee wellbeing is at the heart of this, as it should be, I believe a lot of businesses are over-thinking what they need to implement and are likely buying “solutions” out of fear or lack of understanding.
“After several workshops with our clients over the last few weeks, most are finding that the capacity of their workspace, along with adhering to government guidelines on social distancing, means that the amount of staff who are actually able or willing to return to work is still going to be significantly reduced for several months.
“In essence, companies with large workforce’s will be able to plan out their workspace to accommodate at least 50% capacity in fixed seating with additional capacity gained through the agile and collaborative areas, as well as meeting rooms and breakout spaces.
“We firmly believe that a lot of this can be handled with common sense, flexibility, good management, and some straight forward and clear guidelines.
“Employers should also be focusing on the mental health side, maintaining the office culture, and if any investment is made, it should be in the technologies we have embraced during this period.
“Looking a lot further ahead, I don’t believe as reported in a lot of the press the office will be a redundant fixture, I actually believe our workforce has become more agile, less territorial and that they will need to be more flexible.
“I think this unprecedented time may have given employers the impetus to actually scrap fixed desk positions and develop the collaboration areas into giant business lounges to give complete flexibility and scalability; reducing the floor plate they require, whilst giving the employee a less formal area which they have been used to.”
With our Covid-19 Space Planning & Design service we can provide flexible and cost-effective solutions that will enable you to optimise your existing space to effectively implement social distancing measures for your staff, ensuring they can return to work feeling safe and secure. For more information on this service click here.