With lockdown measures easing, some businesses are returning to work and many others are considering when and how to do so. At Procol, we’re helping clients prepare their office spaces practically and flexibly to achieve the safer ways of working needed today and easily accommodate changes that might need to be made tomorrow. As more and more businesses seek our help, here are five of the most common questions we’re being asked about the post-Covid office.

We need our office workers to socially distance – can you help us devise a better office layout?

Yes, we can. And it’s about more than sticking in a few ‘sneeze screens’. We take a more holistic approach that:

  • significantly enhances staff safety and wellbeing right now
  • accommodates increased numbers as social distancing relaxes
  • keeps tools in place to react as necessary should lockdown measures be tightened again

While our recommendations may centre around the creation of a flexible, zoned office layout that delivers the benefits listed above, they can go far beyond that.

As experts in air conditioning, we can advise on best-practice use of ventilation and HVAC systems to maximise air quality and minimise the risk of build-up and recirculation of contaiminents such as coronavirus.

Zoom, Teams and Skype are great, but sometimes our people will need to meet face-to-face. What’s the best way to do this?

We recognise the convenience of video conferencing but also value the benefits to communication, creativity and company culture that comes with personal interaction. We can help you create flexible, socially distanced meeting zones for informal or less-confidential discussions, and smart, hygienic, cleverly ventilated meeting hubs for more-private sessions.

People will need to move to and fro around the office, not just sit at their desks – how can this be done safely?

Circulation of staff and visitors needs to be safely managed from the moment they set foot inside your premises. Our designers can plan changes to your office layout that include one-way systems and/or widened walkways and passing bays. And we can provide advice and recommendations for smart technical solutions such as automatic doors and app-based access control systems.

People will invariably need to use the washrooms, and we can help there too. For example, specifying automatic sensors on taps and flushes not only avoids the need to touch them, but reduces water usage too.

We’re not sure how to manage things in our staff canteen – should we just ask staff to eat at their desks?

No, eating at desks is neither a good idea for hygiene or productivity. Now, as it was pre-Covid, encouraging staff to take a break from their desks and screens is a good thing. We can help you reorganise your canteen layout to accommodate social distancing at the same time as fostering better communication.

We can also advise on simple measures such as occupancy levels and direction control, and practical solutions ranging from improved ventialation to touch-free drinks dispensers.

Until we can return to maximim occupancy in the office, many of our staff will continue to work from home. Is there an easy way we can improve their set-up? 

Sitting on the sofa with a laptop may sound comfy, but it plays havoc with posture and is detrimental to productivity. We can select and supply office furniture suitable for the home. We deal with a wide range of manufacturers, so are perfectly placed to source anything that’s needed. Some of our suppliers even produce specific homeworking hubs (typically a desk, chair and light) that provide especially good value.

To learn more, join our clients who have already received a copy of our new ‘Post-Covid Office’ presentation. It provides insight into the ideas, innovations, additions and alterations that will prepare your office for the ‘new normal’ – and any more ‘abnormal’ that the months ahead have in store. For details, call us on 01225 701701 or email enquiries@procol.co.uk

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