Although it’s unclear when, our world will eventually return to normal–well, a new normal. This pandemic will have many long term and permanent effects on the way we live our life. As employees return to work, we’ll have to navigate this post-COVID world by implementing new guidelines and procedures. Physical changes to the workplace will be needed to accommodate the new way of working. Here are some potential changes to keep in mind as you prepare your office for work during and after COVID-19.
Sneeze and cough guards will become the new standard for many businesses as they start to reopen. Screens and panels can be installed as a protectant in spaces with regular public exposure, such as customer service points, receptions and cashiers. Sneeze and cough guards can vary in sizes, mount options and transparencies to accommodate different placements and purposes. Teknion, Global Furniture Group and Heartland are just a few Canadian brands that offer customizable protectant guards to keep frontline workers safe by preventing the spread of germs and infections.
Cleanliness and sanitation will not be taken for granted after COVID-19. As we gradually become more exposed to public places, many people will become more diligent with their hand washing. Hand sanitizing stations and wipe dispensers will have a more predominant role as we transition into our new normal, with a particular presence in entrances and shared spaces. Having hygiene stations accessible will keep employees healthy, consistent and safe. Wipe dispensers will have a particular importance in communal and shared work spaces as employees migrate from surface to surface. MityBuilt‘s SaniTower is a hands free sanitizer dispenser, just simply step on the foot pedal to dispense the solution. SaniTower’s adjustability allows it to accommodate a variety of different bottle sizes. Best of all, it’s made in Canada!
After weeks of physical distancing, it may be overwhelming to share spaces once again. As a result, there may be a demand for more physical barriers in the workplace– whether it’s between workstations or in communal areas. There are many different degrees of workplace division from small opaque desk screens, to large glass walls. There’s no need to build a new workstation, it can be as simple as purchasing a desk panel or adding extensions to existing barriers.
After weeks of physical distancing, it’s guaranteed that each employee will have different levels of needs and expectations as they return to work. Some may want complete privacy, while others are excited to reconnect and collaborate. Offering your team different levels of privacy is key for creating a seamless transition. This can also be an opportunity to play with colour in the workplace by incorporating fun finishes and patterns. Here’s some of our favourite divisional solutions from Teknion.
It’s safe to say that we’ll be cleaning our furniture… a lot, so we’ll need fabrics and surfaces that can withstand a high exposure to disinfectants and bleach. Luum Textiles offers over 90 fabrics alone that can be cleaned with either soap, bleach or medical-grade disinfectants. There is also a large selection of antibacterial fabrics that have an anti-microbial chemical treatment to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. Cleanable fabrics does not mean you have to give up fun colours, patterns or textures. Check out some of Luum Textiles’ creative palettes below.
Biophilic design and plant walls were already a popular workplace trend prior to COVID-19. Now that we’re overcoming a pandemic, air purification systems, such as plant walls, will become more important to many businesses and organizations. One of our favourite plant walls is the Teknion Naava Healthtech Green Wall, which purifies the air through its root microbes. Naava pushes the neutralized air back into the room with fans, purifying a space up to 645 square feet. In addition, plant exposure can improve employees’ mental health and reduce stress.
Looking for a low maintenance solution? Consider the Nordgröna reindeer moss! Their moss doesn’t require any watering, misting or direct sunlight—just stick it to the wall and let it be! Incorporating moss into the workplace can improve air quality and balance humidity. It also effectively asorbs sound, creating acoustic balance in the office.
We’re all navigating a new reality and with that comes change. During this time, it’s important to keep your team safe and protected. Contact our experts to learn more about our workplace wellness solutions.