22 Jul Designing Safe Office Workstations for the Post-COVID Workplace
Designing Safe Office Workstations for the Post-COVID Workplace
The coronavirus pandemic has forced America into a great working from home experiment. For many of us, this has been a learning experience, wrestling with Slack and Zoom and a whole host of other tools. Yet sooner or later, we’re going to be returning to work.
Yet some researchers have predicted that social distancing won’t be ended until 2022. Even optimistic estimates say that we’ll need to maintain social distancing for a while yet. So what will our workstations look like in this new normal?
Workstation planning is going to be a huge part of returning to work if we want to stay healthy. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what safe workstations will need to look like for the foreseeable future. Read on and learn more!
Maintaining Social Distancing At Your Workstations
The first and most important element of workstation planning during the COVID-19 pandemic is maintaining social distancing. It’s recommended that workers should not be within 2 meters of each other. As such, having people on opposite sides of a bench or shared desk will not be possible.
Position employees and workers so that they are diagonally situated from each other to improve social distancing.
Any seating areas in cafeteria areas will also need to have well-spaced chairs. Employees should not sit directly next to or opposite each other at any time.
Keeping Benches Safe For Employees
If your employees work using benches, this poses its own unique problems. This kind of seating offers great communal work benefits during normal times but at present, these need to be modified to keep them safe.
We would recommend adding screens along three sides of the bench (either side of the employee and behind them). This way, they will be separated from other employees and have a physical barrier to protect against coughs and sneezes.
If you would like to make these screens a more useful feature for employees, you could use whiteboards as the screens, allowing for quick notes.
Lateral screens are also a great idea for shared tables with separate seating. Separate your employees into individual workstations to minimize the chances of infection.
Keeping Employees Safe In Private Offices
You will also need to keep employees in private offices safe. To do this, you should ensure that any chairs for other employees are situated at least two meters away from the employee sat behind the desk. This allows for one-to-ones without jeopardizing safety.
Lounge chairs should also be replaced with upright chairs so that employees can keep these meetings short.
Use Hand Sanitizer
Your office should have alcohol hand sanitizer spread evenly across the offices. These sanitizer stations will still need to be two meters or more away from other workstations and should be placed in central areas.
How We Can Help You
Bringing your employees back to work requires you to keep their workstations clean and safe. These suggestions may seem radical but they are necessary for the safety of you and your employees.