Design Solutions for a Socially Distanced Office Layout
30th June 2020
While the economic impact of the ongoing pandemic continues to affect businesses large and small across countless sectors, many office workers are now preparing to adjust to ‘the new normal’ that is the socially distanced workspace.
With this shake-up to the norm, business owners and office managers the world over are on the hunt for office layout ideas that promote productivity while keeping their duties to their employees at the forefront of design decisions.
In this post, we’re sharing a potential blueprint for these new socially distanced offices – exploring how staple office layouts and features can be repurposed and adapted in the name of the health and safety of all parties.
Tapping the potential of the open plan
Open-plan offices are a firm fixture of the business world, creating a space primed for free-flowing ideas and efficient interpersonal communications. While the lack of physical boundaries found in an open-plan office would seem counterintuitive with regards to social distancing, these big, open spaces can be effectively adapted for all manner of day-to-day processes.
Cramped meeting rooms for morning briefings and team brainstorms will inevitably have to be repurposed for use by smaller groups during this prolonged period of social distancing – but open-plan office layouts can now serve as multipurpose spaces, able to house these essential meetings in spacious communal areas where businesses can avoid stifling creativity and communications in the name of safety.
Building boundaries, not barriers
In addition to seating team members at an appropriate distance from one another, there’s also the matter of creating physical boundaries between staff for protective health-related purposes. However, when incorporating these boundaries into your office layout, it’s important they don’t create a barrier to productivity and connection between members of your team.
Installing transparent screens between team members’ workstations offers the best of both worlds – a hygienic, easy-to-clean separator that reinforces your business’s social distancing guidelines while also maintaining a visual connection between employees due its transparency. This way, you can avoid cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of the oppressive, 80s-era, cubicle-ridden office space.
Implementing smarter storage solutions
From secure office lockers for employee belongings to high-capacity office shelving for documents, stationery and other essential equipment, storage has a powerful yet understated role to play in the day-to-day running of any workplace. There are a few key hygiene-related concerns to bear in mind here, with a view to providing office storage solutions that don’t undermine your socially distanced environment.
Investing in hygienic personal effects lockers complete with an antibacterial coating will help you keep unwanted germs and bacteria at bay in the workplace. Similarly, installing open-back office shelving that can be accessed from all angles (rather than being wall-mounted) will make social distancing infinitely easier for team members regularly needing to access items stored here at the same time as their colleagues.
With a logical, open office layout that facilitates idea-sharing and real-time communications, combined with hygienic office storage solutions, you can create an adaptable, socially distanced workspace that protects the health of your employees without seeing productivity suffer.
First, though, find out more about how we help businesses across the UK and beyond transform the efficiency of their office space with the right storage solutions.