What Does the Modern Office Look Like Post-COVID-19?
There’s a lot of talk about the “new normal” after social distancing ends. COVID-19 has altered life as we know it. Offices are closed for the foreseeable future, and even as states phase-out of their stay at home orders, companies have struggled with how to bring their employees back together safely. Why? Because offices are close quarters. All of those other features that once made an office appealing (cafeterias, communal desks, elevators, snack bars, gyms, etc.) are now making safety and sanitation a concern. Here’s what the modern office may look like as the country reopens.
No open-floor-plan layouts
Previously preferred, open-floor plans are now under serious review. Open-floor plans allow space to appear bigger, but they ultimately lack privacy and sound-absorption. In the workplace, companies generally opt for open-floor plans to foster collaboration, but this may not be possible with social distancing. Companies are now considering the installation of plexiglass dividers between desks and circles on the floor to designate how far apart workers should be (similar to what you’ve seen in the grocery store!).
Food and beverage benefits
It’s been the mark of the millennial office to have beer taps, snack containers, coffee bars, and other benefits that allow a healthy amount of socialization throughout the day. These offices are more laid back and are seen as a built-in benefit for their workers. However, most offices are set to eliminate these benefits until the virus is eliminated.
According to Mayo Clinic, there’s no evidence that anyone has contracted the virus by touching food containers and packaging. Yet, since the virus is spread through respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks, it is possible to get it through contact with communal supplies. If someone were to have it at work and use your breakroom food area, then it may spread. This is why companies are shutting them down across the country.
Essential employees only
Even more offices are looking at the possibility that only some teams or employees come back to the office for the time being. Some companies, like Twitter, are extending remote work policies indefinitely. Each company has their own system. Some are assigning letters to people in their offices and allowing each group to come into the office on different days of the week. Others are only bringing back the most essential employees right now. Either way, solutions will be needed to keep employees safe as people come back into the office.
How ICS can help
If you’re looking to make modifications to your office space due to COVID-19, Interior Contract Services is here to help. Our manufacturers are still operational, and we’re making these installations with all the necessary PPE to keep you and your employees safe. We can supply all of the emerging work solutions (such as plexiglass barriers) and help train your employees on how to maintain a germ-free environment. Contact us here for any help you need in the Georgia or Florida area today.