Designing health-conscious workplaces for life after COVID-19
News of a vaccine for Covid-19 that is potentially up to 95% effective has been a welcome boost for businesses, with hope that we can return to some semblance of normality by Spring 2021.
Yet, despite the absolute devastation the virus has caused both in terms of its death toll as well as its impact on business, there are many lessons we can take from it going forward.
Lockdowns and work-from-home arrangements have enabled us to give a lot of thought to how we do socially distance within the workplace, and in many ways, it is something we should consider practicing to some extent for years to come.
Whilst the work-from-home option is a reasonable short-term solution, it realistically cannot work in the long term for a number of reasons:
• Employees feeling disconnected
• Difficulty separating work from home life
• Harder to train staff
• Lack of suitable office equipment
• Loud children and pets
These are just a few of the reasons why we need to consider how we design our work spaces to be cleaner, more spaced out and healthier.
Why will social distancing still be important after Covid?
The American physician and immunologist, Dr Anthony Fauci has warned people not to abandon public health measures completely once the vaccine comes in.
“I could feel more relaxed, in essentially not having the stringency of it that we have right now, but I think abandoning it completely would not be a good idea,” he told CNN.
“I would recommend to people to not abandon all public health measures just because you have been vaccinated, because even though, for the general population, it might be 90 to 95 percent effective, you don't necessarily know, for you, how effective it is.”
There is also a lot of data out there that suggests that during the Covid-19 pandemic seasonal flu and other viral activity has dropped, and it’s a pretty reasonable conclusion to draw that this is largely down to people taking extra hygiene precautions, wearing masks in public spaces and social distancing.
So Covid aside, if measures can be taken to ensure a healthier workforce in general, productivity for businesses will inevitably improve.
How can we make our work spaces healthier?
Never before have we seen as many hand sanitizing stations as we see today, but in reality, they’re a really good idea.
If staff can sanitize their hands before entering the office, as well as when leaving toilets or entering the communal kitchen areas, it’s likely that the spread of viruses and bacteria will be decreased hugely.
Extra partitioning between work stations should also be considered, along with temperature checking, one-way systems, adequate signage, better thought-out desk spacing, and so on.
There are measures we can take today to improve all of the above, but it is critical that when designing new workspaces, all these things are considered and integrated into the overall plan. It’s easier to include them at the beginning than to add them in later on down the line.
If you are planning on refurbishing and fitting-out your workspaces and would like to know more about how Colnesett can help you to make them healthier for the future, contact us today on 01473 810230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org