With a return to work after lockdown on the horizon, businesses need to plan for employee social distancing in the workplace. For most, this is likely to be a combination of fewer people in the office along with space management and screening.
Research on the behaviour of people in a typical workplace clearly illustrates the issues organisations need to overcome. Buro Happold, the workplace consultants, shared their modelling findings.
“…the current workplace model is not conducive to social distancing. In the interim period one could achieve social distancing by phased return, occupying fewer desks within the same office, with robust communication on maintaining social distancing and sanitation. However, to achieve a resilient and responsive workplace in the longer term, organisations need to rethink the design of the workplace entirely… Beyond 40% a occupancy rate revisions to desk layout and high footfall areas will be needed to enable effective social distancing in the workplace.” Dr Shrikant Sharma, Head of Analytics at Buro Happold
It’s clear that to maintain workplace distancing, there needs to be more space per head in the office than is currently the norm – or people need to be better shielded. It isn’t an option for most organisations to move to a bigger site, so how else could we achieve this?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested staggered work times to ease crowding on public transport. Others have suggested a model that combines days in the office with days working from home to avoid workplace overcrowding. The past few weeks have certainly forced the concept of working from home to the forefront. Working from home is likely to become part of a more flexible approach to employment. However there are plenty of articles around discussing that, fun though it may be to Zoom conference in a smart top/PJ bottoms, actually bringing work into your home space can feel too like an intrusion. Keeping work and home separate is easier when there are different physical locations for each.
No-one would like to see the loss of carefully designed open plan office spaces. So how can you break up the open plan space to offer safe shielding, without losing social contact?
Betsy Nurse at HOK suggests replacing traditional meeting areas with stand up scrum spaces to give more space around people. With a Freestander mobile whiteboard for example, you can create an ad hoc meeting area so people can remain safely distanced at their own work stations.
One issue for managers during lockdown has been how to keep in contact with their team. Maintaining a link between those in the office and those working remotely will continue to be a challenge. A Divider whiteboard wall that incorporates a digital screen creates a physical barrier that you can use for Zoom or Teams meetings to include workers in the office and in other locations.
Our range of freestanding and mobile whiteboards can work as a sneeze screen or cough screen to provide a physical barrier between people. For example, to shield desks next to busier social areas or access points.
A writable board with an acoustic panel not only creates a shielded space, it also provides a degree of privacy and screening from noise. In an office where the daily brief might be with remote colleagues, quiet spaces become even more important.
Workplace design will need to adapt quickly, adopting learning from the changes supermarkets and other essential spaces made during the Covid 19 crisis.
As problem solvers and product designers, we know the nature of our clients need for our products and services is going to be different in the future to what it has been in the past. We are well placed to support you in adapting to new ways of working, redesigning workplaces and supporting staff with new processes and procedures.
We are well used to making bespoke variations of our most popular products, with delivery in weeks not months. Whether you are a workspace planner or you need help with your own office or industrial unit, please do get in touch and let us work with you.
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Logovisual have previously supplied whiteboard panels for our London office, so when we needed whiteboards for a room at our head office we got in touch. The end result looks good – many thanks.
ADRIAN SHAH-CUNDY, VOLKER WESSELLS
All looks fantastic thank you!!
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CHARLOTTE WALTERS, TUNGSTEN NETWORK
Commissioned Logovisual to design and install a folding wall in one of our technology rooms. Both our company and the NHS Trust were absolutely delighted with the installation a first for all.
PETER SALT, IMMERSIVE
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TRACEY COVE, STEVENS & COVE
Excellent, high quality product, purchased after wise advice and installed quickly by friendly installers. Perfect product for our meeting room needs.
MIA ELLIOTT, DIOCESE OF GUILDFORD
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JESS MARTIN, VAYNERMEDIA
Logovisual really understood our brief and made some great suggestions to make our designs come to life. They helped us bring a child’s game from a small tin to a life size piece of experiential, for us to take in to store at John Lewis. Everyone loved it. Thank you guys.
TAMARA SPURWAY, WILD & WOLF
As a product, they really provide a varied functionality to aid in our brainstorming and project works. These mobile whiteboards have really been an excellent investment and are immensely popular with our staff.
SEBASTIAN FRANCIS-JONES, C SPACE
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LYNNE BRODA, OXFORD CARTOGRAPHERS
The install was fab the guys were excellent and we all love the wall, so much in fact we are thinking of future projects including them. Once again can’t thank you enough for a great thorough service.
ZOE HARRIS, CBRE GLOBAL INVESTORS
Logovisual had as I believed to be the simplest and hassle free job on the project, install of white boards. They were in and out within 3 hours, a job well done!
THE PROJECT TEAM, OVERBURY PLC
The product itself is superbly built and easy to manoeuvre around with the attached wheels. From the office team’s communication before our event to the delivery team’s installation and pickup I found everyone to be really helpful and very professional going out of their way to meet our deadlines. I would certainly recommend logovisual.
SHAUN O’HARA, SAATCHI & SAATCHI WELLNESS
We were looking for a new “canvas” to share information and encourage joint thinking. The Thinking Wall turned out to be the perfect solution. There’s room to be expansive and for things to have real impact. The service we received right from our first enquiry, to installation (very fast, very painless) has been excellent.
STEPHEN CROWE, SCOTTISH FUNDING COUNCIL
We were pleased with the high level of customer service, our order was dealt with quickly and efficiently and we are thrilled with the finished product. The custom whiteboards that are exactly as we had envisaged them.
STEVE CROSTHWAITE, HOTSPUR PRIMARY SCHOOL
Just wanted to thank you again for your help, had a small amount of feedback from our client: Whiteboards are superb. Even better than expected!
LEE, IDEA UK DESIGN & MARKETING
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MARTIN HASSALL-LEES, PLACES FOR PEOPLE