How will office design change after the Coronavirus?

In the blink of an eye, the office environment has changed.  Due to the current pandemic, business owners need a way to bring employees back into the office safely.  The office is going to look very different. In order to accommodate their employee’s new social practices and ways of working, interior designers will help in several ways. 

Space Planning

An experienced interior designer can assess your existing furniture and provide options to reconfigure the space. A proper space plan will allow for people to spread out throughout the workplace allowing for social distancing. To encourage better hygiene and reduce the spread of germs, we can help ensure that six feet, the CDC recommended measurement stays between employees at all times.

Additionally, through a floor plan, interior designers will help you determine your maximum capacity per floor or wing.  With that information, we then create a 6’ workflow throughout the office dependent on the types of work employees will be performing. In addition to signage, designers can use flooring patterns and other creative ways to designate 6’ distances. 

Incorporate Flexible Workspaces

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 25-30% of the workforce will continue to work from home until the end of 2021. Even more employees will work from both the office and home to allow for less density in the workplace. Interior designers will help prepare your office space for these new, agile working arrangements.

Workstation layouts should look much different than they have been. Modifying benching stations so employees do not face each other and adding plexiglass dividers between work areas will still allow natural light to flow through without the risk of spreading germs. 

Additionally, we will see an increase in the amount of private offices. An interior designer can help you allocate that space and create privacy barriers that are not eyesores as well. Traditional workplace standards should be loosened for now, allowing for at-risk employees to use private offices regardless of their titles.

Redesign Collaboration Areas

We know that in order to keep your business successful, there must be collaboration between your employees. As human beings, we want to have those connections. Interior designers can help make that a safe reality. Collaboration will be attained with the help of technology in designated conferencing areas.  There are many furniture options that include the needed technology to video-conference while maintaining distance between staff members in the office. We recommend using single seats to replace sofas and benches in those collaborative areas to encourage social distancing. Additionally, we can provide better lighting for those areas requiring conferencing and technology.

As a business owner, you want your employees to be safe when they return to the workplace. For them to also be productive once they return, they should feel comfortable.  With these inexpensive redesigns, we can add meaningful value to your existing assets, enhance employee health and well-being, and enrich the overall experience of returning to the workplace.