The next time you visit an office, things will be different. Be prepared in your own workplace for guests and employee comfort and safety.
The Worthington Direct team looks forward to returning to our own office space, but in the meantime we are preparing for how that might work best. We are not experts on the new normal, but we are furniture experts. Here are some sanitation and safety products we are implementing in our own office to reopen safely.
It’s official, open office design is cancelled.
We are installing Clear Acrylic Obex Panel Extensions to our own low cubicle walls. These are a great way to increase our personal space within open cubicles yet still keep our visibility and natural light.
Frosted panels are also available if you want to keep that quarantine beard or if you haven’t had a haircut in a while.
Clear divider panels help employees and customers feel more protected against direct physical contact. Banks, clinics, pharmacies, hotels and even your favorite coffee shop are just a few places ordering sneeze guard barriers.
They may well become expected at points of contact so think about how you can implement them with your existing furniture. Can you mount them to an existing desk or table or do you have a counter that requires a freestanding panel? A tall mobile divider may work best if your location changes or to roll away for easy cleaning.
Clean hands make for a happy office.
While the actual hand sanitizer and wipes may be a challenge to locate, we have hand sanitizer dispenser stands available now for when your supplies arrive. For our team we have placed hand dispensers at the main entryway and our breakroom.
We are placing disinfecting wipes throughout the office, especially in high contact areas: copy machines, shared storage and of course the breakroom. We might even start the much hated, refrigerator clean-out schedule back up. The CDC would likely frown upon how long a certain someone leaves their pasta salad in the fridge.
If you have a large space make sure you have ample trash bins available for any disposable PPE and save your staff from having to pick up after visitors.
Interesting fact we learned from our partners at Ex-Cell Kaiser is that Walt Disney himself conducted studies in his theme park, and found that most people will not walk more than 30’ to properly dispose of trash.
Creating More Space
Use the space you have to make more space.
It’s unlikely you’ll have too many in-person office meetings for the unforeseeable future, so the conference room might be a good space to repurpose into work areas. Screenflex portable partitions can be easily rolled into place and configured in numerous ways to divide large space into smaller work areas. These room dividers are available with vinyl upholstery making it easy to wipe down during daily cleanings.
Rearranging existing furniture can also create clear pathways to direct customer traffic and office guests. Modular reception furniture can be moved in order to create designated walkways in waiting areas. While not the most feng shui layout, consider turning your lounge seating around to face the wall verses facing out into the center of your customer waiting room.
If your place of business is implementing the suggested temperature checks upon entry, you may need to create a pop-up health screening station. Our office has an existing reception desk that we plan to use.
If your entryway lacks a reception desk, consider creating temperature checkpoint with an affordable folding table.
Open air meetings and outdoor lunches.
With all of today’s mobile and portable tech devices, office meetings can be held just about anywhere. Why not try to take your next meeting outside? This may not be realistic for some situations, but if you can get some vitamin D while you go over next quarter’s goals set up an outdoor conference area. Outdoor tables and benches are a good permanent investment that will be around even after this pandemic ends.
Spring is upon us and many employees may enjoy having their lunches outside. Providing an open air breakroom is a great option for dining, especially since it’s very difficult to eat with a face mask on. Rather than transporting your existing cafe furniture in and out, order outdoor picnic tables that will serve your company for years to come.
Clearly Posted Information
Communication is key to keep everything moving safely.
Make sure everyone clearly understands your protocols and expectations of crowd management, especially if you are open to the public.
Identify 6 feet distances where public lines might form using Dry Erase Directional Signs. These portable dry erase boards are for quick, but important instructions.
Enclosed Boards allow information to be posted in non-manned locations. Their surfaces are easy to wipe clean and items such as menus, regulations and policies can be easily updated by staff. There are even anti-microbial bulletin boards that can be mounted where ever you need to get the message across, or share memos.
We have the CDC’s recommended handwashing guide posted above our sinks. Each with 20 seconds worth of Ice Ice Baby lyrics, because it’s okay to smile behind your face mask.
Contact us if you have any questions about these or any other products that will help you return to a healthy workplace. We are prepared to go above and beyond to help you reopen your business safely.