How To Encourage Physical Distancing With Your Office Space Plan

There are many different factors to consider when designing a functional workspace. Now that we’re slowly coming out of a pandemic, we’re faced with a new set of challenges, such as creating solutions for privacy, physical distancing and video conferencing. Here’s some helpful tips for redesigning your office to make it safer and more functional as we return to work. 

Private Offices

Generally speaking, private offices don’t require too many changes. Simply limit the guest seating and keep it close to the entrance to minimize walk-through traffic. Try using a bleach cleanable fabric on guest chairs to help reduce the spread of germs and viruses.

Teknion | Journal


There are many different workstation layouts to consider depending on the size of space and number of employees returning to work. If there’s only a small fraction of employees coming back try staggered seating, leaving every other workstation free. Avoid seating workers near heavily trafficked areas, such as doorways or walkways. 

Limited on space? Try back to back seating to avoid facial exposure. Invest in divisional accessories such as workplace screens and barrier extensions to encourage physical distancing. Desk screens provides a barrier between workstations with limited space, while freestanding screens are better for large space division. If you already have physical barriers or workstation panels, consider adding extensions to make them taller and more private. 

(Top) Three H | Multistations+  (Bottom) KI | Universal Screens

Meeting Rooms

As more meetings move digital, technological integration will become a essential feature in office design. There will be less face to face encounters, so try incorporating more private pods and individual nooks for video conference calls. There may be multiple employees engaging in virtual meetups within the same space, so consider investing in acoustics to mitigate echos. If you still require face to face appointments try staggered seating or reduce the number of chairs around the conference table

Rouillard | Media Fit

Lounge Spaces

Lounge spaces are the ideal spot for informal meetings and taking a break with your coworkers, so it’s important to keep them collaborative. Utilizing tables between seats will promote physical distancing while still providing a place to communicate. Increase divisional privacy with chair back extensions, freestanding screens and private pods.  

OFGO | Collaborative Seating

Designing a safe, yet functional office space can be a daunting task. Utilizing different layout methods and accessories can help encourage physical distancing, giving employees at sense of ease as they return to work. Need some help? Contact our experts. We have 36 years of experience!

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