Designing the “socially distanced” Office
A short-term approach, considering long term strategies
Recognising the change in the way we work.
2020 has changed the business landscape as we know it. With more people than ever working from home, the modern office will look totally different. Progressive are here to assist you, designing offices to provide socially distanced work stations and collaborative workspaces to re-energise your team and maximise your floorspace.
New hub-and spoke working environments allowing businesses to reduce their head office floor space and a combination of work from home arrangements coupled with smaller suburban collaborative offices, will be the new norm.
Progressive specialise in designing safe working environments which provide collaborative meeting spaces, act as resource centres and provide flexible workstation solutions.
A new look office
- Surveys generally show that at least half of all office workers want the flexibility to continue working regularly from home after the pandemic. Ultimately it will be the nature of the business that will drive this mix
- When people do eventually go back to the office, they’re going to have more space. Colleagues will come into the office to collaborate.
- There’ll be more communal areas for team work, which will replace the rows and rows of desks which were a feature of the pre-covid office.
- open plan benches, project areas & team areas for people to work on things together will be given greater emphasis
- Previously offices saw about 60-70 per cent of floor space devoted to individual desks. That’ll likely drop quite substantially to probably as low as 40-50 per cent. That reduction facilitating either a downsized office or possibly an increase to collaborative spaces.
- The driver that we’re seeing from more progressive clients is that they’re realising they have to get back to the office and they have to create places that attract and retain their employees in a workplace-safe post covid world.
Office Interior designers say future offices will have more collaborative spaces and fewer individual desks. All agree workplaces will have fundamentally changed forever.
Retrofitting and changes to the existing environment
There are a number of considerations when evaluating your existing office layout:
higher workstation cubicle style screens
Hand sanitiser stations
Increased meeting spaces
Privacy cubical work areas
An example of simple changes which can be made to an existing office
After (single rows and collaborative spaces)
Open plan offices with higher screens, larger aisle ways
The workplace kitchen
One of the big areas getting a revamp in the modern office is the workplace kitchen. Typically these areas are increasing their floor space and becoming an informal dining and social hub, where team members can grab a coffee or a bite to eat, and catch up with colleagues in a safe environment to brainstorm and share ideas.
Smaller individual café style tables to accommodate staff on staggered lunch breaks and breakout style informal seating is the new normal for this space.
One of the more difficult tasks that we face in the new world, is social interaction in the workplace getting the creative juices flowing as we work further apart is a challenge. Increasing the number of meeting rooms/ social hubs/ collaborative hubs/ spoken hubs is a feature of the modern office. Progressive can provide a number of solutions, from a drop-in meeting room, a simple change in furniture to something of a more permanent nature, Progressive has a range of options.
To protect the frontline of your business in a non-intimidating way, Progressive have a fresh new range of modern reception furniture. Lounges are replaced with individual seating to welcome your guests, and reception counters are receiving a facelift with integrated clear screens to protect your frontline work team members.
Specialised materials and finishes
New materials that offer antimicrobial or antibacterial properties such as Crypton fabrics that can be bleach cleaned and easily sanitised are making their way onto workstation screens and office seating. Easily cleaned surfaces dominate the selection palette, including Perspex and powder-coated metal surfaces, in combination with laminate joinery and flooring products, are increasingly replacing traditional office materials.
Dividers and Screen dividing walls.
Whether you are setting up a new office or re configuring an existing office, the consideration of adding screens to the workstations is paramount to enhancing social distancing.
Progressive offer a range of solutions and work with our clients to find the best fit for their needs.
Working from Home Office Solutions
As increasing numbers of employees work from home, either on a full time or part time basis, Progressive have the right home office furniture to create an ergonomically safe and productive working environment. Packages can be tailor made and delivered directly to your team member’s residential address, pre -set up and ready to work.