How Covid-19 is changing the workplace
For the last decade, open office spaces have become the new normal. Proponents of these spaces claim that they help people to work together, and promote team spirit. Critics claim they are designed to be cheap and are distracting rather than helpful.
However you feel about these spaces, they are now the most common type of office space around the world—and are now proving to have new challenges for social distancing. With the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, causing millions to become sick and hundreds of thousands to die, the open office space is going to have to change. Here's how your new office space could look.
Portable sneeze guards could be the future
In an open office setting, people are moving around all the time. Between meetings and shared desk space, there are a lot of opportunities to transfer viruses. Freestanding plexiglass shields could be a major feature in this environment.
These sneeze guards are a practical solution to the ever changing environment of the open office, and can be popped up to protect people at one desk, then moved to another when necessary. As an added benefit, they don't need to be screwed on or hung, making moving them a breeze.
These freestanding plexiglass shields are in high demand right now, and are likely to be a big feature in your new office space.
Expect to finally get some space
Open office spaces were previously meant to feel like there was more room, but this changed as more and more people were added to that space. With the CDC recommending at least six feet apart for social distancing, you may well end up with a desk to yourself.
Fewer people will be occupying the same space in order to provide proper social distancing, and expect those portable shields to be in place if you absolutely need to share a desk with someone.
One way paths in the office
Hallways and elevators are proving to be a particular challenge for high rises and other large office spaces. One solution has been to create one way lanes through office space so that everyone is moving in the same direction, but that still leaves elevators.
Some elevators can only safely take one socially distanced passenger at a time, and that's a huge problem. Plexiglass dividers may again be put into place here to help make social distancing possible. The dividers could allow four passengers in even a small elevator, one person for each corner.
The coronavirus has changed how we do business in every possible way. Hanging plexiglass shields now screen us from cashiers and bankers, we are asked to keep at least “two carts apart” while waiting in line, and to wear face masks in public. Although office spaces are opening up, many people are still opting to work from home, and some may never come back to the office at all.