How COVID-19 Social Distancing Restrictions Have Impacted Office Fitouts.

Here we are,  the ‘new normal’.  It feels as though just about every aspect of life has been impacted by COVID-19 and office fitouts are no exception. Office owners are now re-thinking their office spaces with employee safety as a top priority. Office fitouts are being undertaken to ensure that employees can comfortably follow social distancing rules to feel safe and happy in their working environment.Here are some ways you can improve your office safety.

Maximising Space 

We know to stop the spread we must keep 1.5 metres distance, but how is that achieved in a small office space filled by 40 other employees? To enable safe social distancing, offices are now being redesigned with a mission to maximise floor space. Fitout companies are being more strategic with their office layouts – changing furniture arrangements, removing walls and reshuffling all aspects of an office to maximise space. Office extensions have also become increasingly popular in recent times. With the need for social distancing in the workplace, employers are looking to make their offices larger to enable a wider dispersion of workspaces.

Removing Touchpoints 

COVID-19 highlighted the numerous opportunities for bacteria-spread that we encounter daily.  It quickly became protocol to avoid unnecessary touchpoints and when unavoidable, sanitise directly after contact. Touchpoints like doorknobs, light switches and all kinds of buttons found around the office can leave employees vulnerable to the spread of bacteria. To adapt to this risk and ensure a COVID safe environment, many fitouts now focus on removing unnecessary touchpoints. Fitouts have seen a substantial increase in the installation of technology like automatic doors and sensor lights to function without the need for touching surfaces.

Installing Partitions & Personal Workstations

To respond to the risk of social distancing rules in the workplace, many offices are now opting to include partitions in their fitouts. Partitions add a physical barrier between employees while retaining an attractive and less confronting look, as they often match the colour palette of the office! According to the experts, partitions should be at least 140cm high to minimise the spread of bacteria. 

Fitouts have also seen a large increase in demand for personal workstations. These stations create a comfortable pod for employees to work safely and happily, with many people reporting increased productivity too! 

Opting For Plastic Protective Barriers

For offices that are open to the public, even more rigorous steps are being taken to stop the spread. Customer-facing roles quickly became daunting when COVID-19 hit, with many employees feeling vulnerable in their day-to-day roles. To protect receptionists and other customer-facing employees, many offices now choose to include plastic barrier shields in their office fitouts. 

Final Thoughts 

At Office Fitout Professionals, we’re experts in office design and renovation. With over 11 years in the industry, we have the experience and knowledge required to adapt to unprecedented situations. We’ve helped offices across WA to navigate social distancing rules in the workplace to achieve a safer, more comfortable environment for their employees. We offer a complete in-house service, including interior design and space planning, construction and fitout and the supply and installation of furniture and fittings! Contact us to find out how we can help!