There is no way around it, these are very complicated and challenging for business owners. Now that we’re returning to the workplace, we’re starting to navigate the complexities of social distancing and ways of managing employee safety at work during a pandemic.  

As workplace consultants, this is our area of expertise – we thrive designing motivating work environments and space strategy is our forte. Now, let us tell you – this is not a one solution fits all situation! It’s crucial to evaluate your specific business’ needs, risks and requirements in order to develop an effective procedure that will work for you and keep your team safe. 

We’ve been speaking with a range of different organisations, all of whom have industry and spatially specific requirements. The guidelines that have been produced by the government are being met with a variety of approaches and interpretations. It has been fascinating to observe the different approaches and solutions that are being developed by different types of workplaces and suppliers 

It’s increasingly clear that some industries are struggling to implement workable social distancing operating procedures, due to necessary proximity of the workforce, customer interactions and/or through available spaceyet at the same time best practice is being invented by trial and error.  It’s clear that through this period of adversity there has been some exceptional innovation. 

Our suppliers and partners have found some ingenious and flexible solutions that they have been willing to share, dependent on the requirements of your team there are a variety of different options available. Some of our clients, for example they have introduced their teams to the new ways of working via video-link, providing virtual tours and outlining the new procedures prior to returning to the office. Managing expectations and helping team members to understand their individual responsibilities when returning to their workplace is important in nurturing a safer work environment for everyone.  

One of our clients has divided their team into two: Team 1 is in from Monday to Thursday with a deep clean on Friday and then Team 2 comes the following week working Monday to Thursday which also allows 72 hours between either group. 

Along with the COVID 19 advisory signage and temporary desk screens provided by our partners Artworks Solutions help aid in minimising the spread of Covid-19Another example of thinking outside the box can be seen where local distilleries turning their hand to alcohol-based santiserswe have found companies who are now providing mobile sanitising stations with automatic dispensers and others are using antiviral fabrics for comfortable and protective face masks – the innovations continue! 

As we await updates from the government on social distancing, we’re thinking about the effect this might have on movement around the office. We’ll run our video again with reduced spacing to show what effect a 1m distance might have. We’re still here and available to help you with your own risk assessments, planning and queries. Feel free to get in touch or wait for our next blog update with more specific case studies and inventions!