Whether you have a large facility or small, setting the office up for social distancing will require planning. It’s not easy to ensure both employees and clients are socially distanced 6 feet apart. However, it’s necessary when you’re creating a workplace environment that is safe for workers and customers.
The Covid-19 crisis has changed the way the workplace looks but it doesn’t mean that it’s not safe for employees to return, as long as the proper controls are implemented. Here’s what employers, managers, and CEOs need to know about how to properly set up office space for social distancing.
Setting Up the Office Space For Social Distancing
The size of the workspace doesn’t matter when you’re creating a social distancing office layout. You want to do this before randomly moving work desks around. If you start planning for social distancing without a layout, you’ll probably run out of space before the last employee has a personal workspace.
To ensure the CDC recommended distance and other safety measures are implemented, it helps to have a checklist. Knowing what you need to do is the first step towards ensuring your employees’ and customers’ safety.
How to Create Social Distancing in the Workplace
Ensuring good airflow throughout a sanitized facility is the first step, but employees also must be socially distanced from each other and their clients.
Create Open Workstations
Social distancing in the workplace starts with creating an open environment, which will benefit both personnel and customers. If desks were previously placed together either side-by-side or directly across from each other, this configuration needs to change. The packaging industry has been successful in implementing these changes.
Optimally, each employee will work a minimum of 6-feet away from one another. The recommendation refers to stationary and mobile employees.
It’s easy for employees to walk over to another’s workstation with a question. The best way to avoid this is with plexiglass barriers. The shields are relatively inexpensive and available in a variety of sizes. The clear partitions keep everyone socially distanced, while still ensuring easy accessibility.
Install Gateway Booths
If you have remote employees that occasionally come into the office to file paperwork, a gateway booth provides both privacy and safety. The small space for a desk and chair can be easily enclosed with plexiglass barriers. Your off-site employees will have a safe place to work when needed, and you’re also following the CDC recommended guidelines for social distancing in the office.
Have a Huddle Room
Even though you’re likely conducting most meetings online through a virtual platform, there are still times when a couple of employees need to gather in a safe space. A huddle room is an ideal solution. The separate area can comfortably fit 2 to 5 employees, allowing them safety and privacy to work uninterrupted.
When you’re setting up a huddle room in the facility, you want to include the technology employees need. Along with a monitor for video-conferencing, most rooms are also equipped with whiteboards, phones, and a surface to work on. Don’t forget sanitizing solutions, and a plan in place for disinfecting spaces after use.
Ventilation is as Important as Social Distancing
Increased Air filtration
Moving workstations around to keep employees apart won’t make a positive difference if the air filtration system doesn’t ventilate properly. Recycling air can increase everyone’s chances of becoming ill whether from a cold or possibly Covid-19 which could temporarily shut the company down.
Inspecting the unit before the building is reopened, and replacing filters will help maximize airflow. You might need to move some vents to improve airflow or add ones in corners and other tight spaces. Improving airflow in the facility will help prevent some health problems.
After inspecting the airflow system and expanding it if necessary, clean all surfaces before employees return.
Bring Back Your Team Safely With Work-Fit
Employees are returning to work and this is creating challenges for company owners, CEOs, and managers. It’s important to meet all of the health and safety regulations that include social distancing in the workplace.
Along with inspecting the ventilation system and sanitizing the facility, the area also has to be reconfigured to allow employees to social distance at work. If you need assistance installing plexiglass barriers or redesigning workstations, the experts at Work-Fit are here to help. Contact Work-Fit today to speak with a workplace wellness professional. You can also explore all of the services Work-Fit has to offer.