SteelCase

Post COVID-19 Retrofits & Strategies

Written by: Empire Marketing

What lies ahead in the upcoming months is uncertain at best. However, we are confident in the fact that we will all eventually be back to work in our offices–at some point. Once government mandates and restrictions start lifting, companies and employees may need to rethink the way they work in the office.

Over the past several years, workplace design has promoted a more collaborative setting with lower physical barriers to achieve a more dynamic work environment. In preparing for a workplace post-COVID-19, our clients are beginning to discuss how to retrofit these types of open-plan offices to protect employees during this fluid time, even if it’s just a short-term strategy. A complete overhaul may not be necessary, but adding a few additional protective pieces and rethinking the layout of the space along with establishing new protocols may help keep everyone safe and healthy while returning to work.

Here are some things we are already starting to see.

  1. Face-to-Face Protection.
    1. Protective partitions affixed to the front of the work surface and made from non-porous/wipe-able surfaces
  2. Side-to-Side Protection.
    1. Protective division pieces in between individuals that extend beyond the work surface
    2. Additional storage added between stations for further “physical distancing”
    3. Increasing desk sizes to support social distancing
    4. For already dense applications, sit every other desk to maintain a proper distance
  3. Infection Control.
    1. Antimicrobial surfaces/elements added for arm caps on chairs and deskpads on work surfaces
    2. Easily accessible sanitization stations, including hand sanitizers and wipes, gloves and masks
    3. Antimicrobial trash receptacle
  4. Easy to Clean Surfaces.
    1. Swap out the fabric on seat and pedestal cushions for vinyl and/or bleach-cleanable material

In the months ahead, there will certainly be even more expertise around these topics, and some lessons learned once they are put into practice. Below are some insightful thought leadership pieces created by some of our favorite industry partners.

What Happens When We Return to the Workplace

By Gensler

How Leaders are Responding to Covid Workplace Disruption

By Gallup

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