COVID-19 has caused major disruptions for businesses around the world. With lockdowns beginning to lift, companies are devising ways to help their teams return to work safely. As a result, post-coronavirus offices will look much different than the ones workers left at the start of the outbreak. Here are some of the changes being made in offices across the country:
1. Health Check Stations
Identifying and isolating individuals who are sick is vital to keeping workplaces healthy. Large office buildings and individual employers may set up stations where entering employees and even visitors can have their temperatures taken to identify those with fevers. As access to rapid diagnostic tests improves, these stations may even provide fast screenings for the virus.
2. Revamped Open Office Space
For years, companies have shifted toward more open office plans to encourage collaboration, but in the age of COVID-19, these layouts can increase the spread of germs. Companies that have the available floor space may wish to reconfigure these areas, placing desks six feet apart. Some employers are making social distancing easier by placing desks in the center of colorful targets that are 12 feet in diameter. This provides a quick visual reference to ensure that coworkers don't come too close. In offices where it just isn't possible to spread team members out, plexiglass dividers may be installed to create cubicles that fight germs without blocking the view.
3. Incorporation of Hands-Free Technology
COVID-19 can live on plastic, metal and wood for up to three days, so in office buildings and spaces, the less shared surfaces that people have to touch the better. Companies and landlords may wish to adopt hands-free technology like facial recognition or QR code security. Voice-activated elevators and touch-less water faucets, hand dryers and paper towels are also likely to appear in more buildings post COVID-19.
4. Renewed Focus on Indoor Air Quality
High quality air filtration systems can remove a large amount of bacteria and viruses from indoor air. In the era of COVID-19, companies are much more likely to prioritize indoor air quality when looking for office space. Older buildings may be retrofitted with these systems to promote cleaner air throughout the offices and shared spaces. Smart filtration systems that provide real-time data about air quality will become a major asset for buildings.
5. More Frequent Cleaning
Janitorial services will become an important amenity as workers return to offices. More thorough cleaning is required to keep offices sanitary. As a result, cleaning may no longer take place solely at night. Instead, janitorial staff may be onsite all day long to disinfect common areas.
6. Connectivity as a Vital Amenity
Even as stay-at-home orders cease, many employers will ask employees to work at home either full-time or on a rotating basis to limit the number of people in offices. Connectivity will be key to ensuring that team members working onsite can easily communicate and collaborate with those offsite. Buildings with Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) will help to ensure the best possible network performance for both Wi-Fi and cellular service.
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