As vaccination rates rise and infection rates fall, many workplaces are beginning to welcome back their employees after a protracted absence. With everything that has happened since the workplace exodus from the start of the pandemic, offices need to be ready.
To properly welcome back your workers, your workplace needs to have the right equipment, and that means having post-Covid office furniture. In this “new normal,” offices need to support their workers’ confidence with real-world actions that have a demonstrable effect.
Are you ready? Look over this checklist to see if your post-Covid workplace is up to standard.
Covid-Responsive Office Furniture
Today’s offices need more than just boardroom tables and water coolers. The pandemic has forced offices to undertake new safety measures as the price of doing business, many of which come in the form of new office additions. These Covid-responsive office furniture pieces are designed to keep employees safe, distanced, and clean, making for a harmonious and productive work environment.
fluidconcepts offers a wide lineup of office products that are geared for the post-Covid workplace:
- Safepods: Lightweight, fully enclosable environments made for open plan environments that provide a personal private space.
- Alterna Safe Rooms: A lightweight, highly configurable room system that creates closed environments inside an open office space without the need for costly renovations.
- Orbit Round: Like our other workstations, the Orbit facilitates social distancing with a well-laid out format that incorporates glass screen for added separation. Employees are positioned offset from another therefore no person is in direct sight of another.
- Flag Screens: Freestanding post centric and cantilevered screens that enable spatial protection for environments including office, healthcare, and hospitality.
- Pop-Up Spaces: Rapid set-up and take-down walls and rooms for urgent, permanent, or temporary needs.
- Protective Booths: Protected spaces for screenings, transactions, and one-to-one interactional activities.
- Protective Desk Screens: Direct barriers between employees, patients, and clients for improved safety and distancing.
- Scissor Screens: Rapid full space division between desks and workstations for easy convenience.
- Step Screens: Rapid set-up partitions for use in existing benching, table, or open seating applications.
- Universal Upmount Screens: Direct physical barriers using one screen that allow for four different ways of mounting.
- MIX Screens: Highly customizable and configurable screens that can be deployed in a vast myriad of ways and ideal for dividing spaces and people.
Cleanable/Easy Disinfected Furniture
A new standard to which all workplaces need to adhere is for higher levels of hygiene. And since all touchable surfaces need to be wiped down and disinfected, this means that all the furniture in your office should be able to accommodate a thorough cleaning.
As we explain in our guide to cleaning and disinfecting your office furniture, different office materials have different needs when it comes to cleaning. Here’s a short rundown:
- Upholstery: Use upholstery soap mixed with water, and follow manufacturer’s instructions to make sure you’re taking the proper steps.
- Laminates/Acrylics: This office material commonly used for work desks should be able to handle bleach cleaners, but stick to a simple soap, water and vinegar solution if you’re unsure.
- Metal: This tough and resilient office material is easy to clean, and can even be used with cleaning wipes. Be sure to perform a secondary wipedown to get rid of streaks.
- Leather: This high-maintenance material regularly needs a conditioning agent to make it supple. Use gentle soap and a small amount of water, and dry quickly afterwards.
Find out the specific cleaning needs of your office furniture to ensure your office environment is as clean as it needs to be.
Having the right office furniture won’t mean much without the proper office layout, for which each of the three main varieties face their own unique challenges when it comes to battling Covid-19.
We previously touched upon this topic in our blog where we discussed the differences of open concept, coworking, and flexible workspaces:
- Open concept: By creating an open collaborative space without physical barriers, workplaces using this office layout need to spread out their office furniture to maintain social distancing. And, because the same work environment is shared, this layout requires workers to wear masks and for all spaces to be regularly cleaned.
- Coworking: The most important aspect of a coworking layout is to maintain good lines of communication. Because the workspace is shared with another company, it is of the utmost importance to share information such as employee screening between two separate businesses that ordinarily don’t communicate with each other.
- Flex: This layout’s great advantage of allowing employees to come and go as they please also serves as its greatest weakness when it comes to combating Covid-19. This office layout needs a strong monitoring system that keeps track of arriving workers, and a thorough screening health system to ensure that employees stay safe.
Hybrid Office Setup
Hybrid offices are a compromise between in-office and remote working that many businesses have adopted as their new way of doing business. To accommodate this balance, workplaces need to make their office hybrid-compliant. This will help bridge the gap between workers as well as accommodate employees that make the trip to work.
Help give your office a hybrid setup by following these steps:
- Hot desking: Although employees may feel attached to having their own personal space, it doesn’t make sense to designate specific work areas to people that aren’t there. Instead, this new way of assigning workplace seating makes the entire office available to whomever shows up, making each workstation a temporary spot for the day.
- Video conferencing equipment: Zoom meetings have become a ubiquitous part of life over the past couple of years where we’ve become accustomed to seeing people with their own screen. However, in an office environment where in-person staff have congregated in a single room, the single-person setup is no longer convenient. Instead, meeting rooms now require proper audio-visual equipment that allows remote workers to distinctly see and hear people without trouble.
- Human resource management software: Screening employees and trying to track employees working in different locations can be a headache for Human Resources. To make this simpler, consider investing in human resource management software that keeps track of employees. This tool can be used to conduct health screenings and help maintain in-office employee numbers at a safe capacity.
Looking to increase workplace confidence? Want to upgrade your office environment? fluidconcepts has the office solution for you! For more information on our products, please contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!