Guest blog by Michiel Smit from Flow in Motion
Decorate your office according to the 1.5 meter guidelines? This can be done in just 5 steps. Working from home has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages, such as personal contact, the driving and creative power of colleagues. Working from home is still the advice, but we notice that entrepreneurs miss the interaction and that the distance to colleagues is increasing. Read here how you can make your office corona safe in 5 steps. The main principles are keeping a distance of 1.5 meters, hygiene and ventilation.
These are the five different areas for your corona office furnishings:
- The workplaces and safe areas
- The entrance hall, reception
- Corridors and human traffic
- WCs, canteens and shared areas.
STEP 1: THE WORKPLACES AND SAFE ZONES
What do you do with all those workplaces, one and a half meters and hygiene in the workplace?
Be the first to look at the room layout and desks. It is best to have 1.5 meters between each workstation. If this does not work, determine which workstation can be used and which cannot, so that 1.5 meters is created between each used workstation. Increase the flexibility of the space by creating flex spaces for these workplaces. Remove the chairs from the desks that should not be used. Or stick a green tick or red cross on the desk or on the floor to indicate usage. Visualize a safety zone around the workplace with dots. This indicates the safe space. This is nice for your colleague who works at that workplace, but also for the colleague who comes to ask something or walks by. This visualization gives a lot of peace. Don't forget that if colleagues come to the office for 1 or 2 days, they will look for interaction.
If desks are placed against each other and there is no 1.5 meters between them, it is wise to hang cough screens.
Workplace and hygiene
Yes, here is your chance to implement a clean desk policy. Let's hope your colleagues experience this as positive and see the benefits. You make it easy for any cleaners to clean everything. And an even better idea is to offer your colleagues the right materials and have them clean their workplace themselves.
STEP 2: TO MEET OR NOT MEET
Look carefully at which meetings are needed or unnecessary. Take a critical look at all meetings that have not taken place in the past period and which have been online. Which of these consultations really did not yield what they actually should have yielded. Wonder why this is. Time to arrange it differently. In particular, look at the frequency of the live meeting. For example, could you meet live once a month and 3 times via a screen. Is everyone necessary and what are you going to discuss live what really needs to be discussed live.
It is of course important to set up your meeting room for a corona meeting. Keep a distance of 2 meters between each chair. Remove all other chairs or visualize with a nice sticker on the floor or table where the chair belongs, so that the two meters distance remains. Provide disinfectants and let everyone clean the conference table when they leave.
STEP 3 THE RECEPTION
The reception, this is perhaps the least controllable area and therefore deserves extra attention. Obviously you get unknown visitors, whose health you do not know, who do not know how they deal with the measures and who are not aware of your measures. The receptionist has a lot of contact with visitors.
Here are several solutions to set up your corona proof office:
- Prevent visit
- Visualize all your measures at the reception and the entrance with stickers on the floor. Create waiting lines, arrows and routes and the like to show people your corona measures.
- Ensure that visitors disinfect or wash their hands when entering.
- Book rooms that are close to the entrance and set them up as a meeting room. This allows you to minimize traffic. Coffee? The host can bring these for the guest.
- Packages and deliveries. Place a cupboard or rack and have parcel deliverers place the parcels there and pick them up if necessary.
- If necessary, place a cough screen at the reception if the distance is not at least 1.5 meters.
STEP 4 THE TRAFFIC FLOWS
Then everyone still has to go to his or her workplace. How do you organize this? Very simple, use the traffic rules as we do in daily traffic. Many more complex situations have been well organized there for years. But before you buy a traffic light or put a traffic controller in the hall.
Start with the following steps:
- An average person needs 60 cm in width. So when passing 1.5 meters away, 3.10 meters is needed. If you have this, you can indicate that everyone should stay on the right with arrows, footsteps pasted next to the wall.
- For all corridors and stairs that are narrower: create a one-way traffic route.
- If this does not work, you have to determine who has priority in the hallway. Have the person who has a good view of the corridor give priority to the other.
- Leave doors open as much as possible for a clear view.
STEP 5 TOILETS, CANADAS
Let your employees use canteens, toilets, copiers and coffee machines as controlled as possible. How do you communicate that a room is "full"? Use the resources you have; leave the door open if the space is not yet full, close the door if the space is full.
Time for a cup of coffee and some colleagues to test your plans by reenacting the situations in your office space. And be smart, organize it, possibly start with a small group. Learn from this group and adjust your measures.