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Creating Your Corona-Safe Workspace

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Have you considered the need to create a Corona-Safe workspace? For many during this Covid-19 pandemic, our workspace has changed dramatically. Some have transferred their office home and others have become creative in their endeavours to social distance amongst colleagues. However you’ve tackled this, it’s time to be decisive and implement change to ensure you have a Corona-Safe workspace. And, that’s not only for now but also into our future.

General Guidelines To Follow

With the unprecedented spread of Covid-19, everyone’s done a tremendous job of limiting their potential of spreading the disease. And with our country implementing staged releases of restrictions, its time to look at how we need to work in the real world. Government guidelines are providing good, factual information that everyone can apply within their own commercial interior.

As stated by the WA Department of Health, there are procedures we should follow regarding employee support, cleaning and awareness. But how we use and move within our workspace needs to be looked at as well.

Let's Keep It User Friendly

Firstly, let’s take a walk through your workspace and conduct a bit of a risk assessment and ask a lot of questions.

  • What facilities such as printers and equipment are used by multiple people every day?
  • How often do people have to collaborate or meet in large numbers?
  • Do you have hot desk areas that are always occupied?
  • Is there space to reposition work desks to accommodate social distancing guidelines?
  • Do you get a lot of clients coming into your workspace?

Lots of questions I know, and these are only the start of what the assessment should cover.

Let’s put some of this into practice in your workspace

If your printers and essential equipment are positioned within a confined space, think about relocating them to an open area. Alternatively, it could be easier to remove walls in order to eliminate restrictions. Seating and tables in meeting spaces may need to be reduced for a period of time. Storage may be an issue, however stackable seating and mobile flip top tables will readily solve this problem.

 

existing workspace with copy hub                         open plan workspace with equipment moved outside of enclosed area

Enclosed Equipment Area                                                       Equipment Moved to Open Workspace

Distanced Socialising

Meeting the federal and state social distancing recommendations is easier than you think. Maintaining the 4sqm per person in the workspace is close to being achieved if you work at bench style workstations. And you can see this in the images here. Bench-based workstations will essentially economise on valuable floor space when compared to “U”, “L” or micro work desks.

One of the most common places we are social at work is the kitchen or breakout space. Many of us have enjoyed morning teas and communal lunches for years but it’s now time for change. Given the recommendation to maintain 1.5 metres distance between people, planning of your breakout space may need adjustment. Placement of appliances and access to crockery and cutlery is vital to getting this right. Come lunchtime, the time spent within a confined kitchen space should be limited. This means easy access to a fridge, situated next to a microwave, within arms length of cutlery and crockery, and the convenience of a sink at the end of your task. Plan the space to ensure a smooth process with limited employee crossover when accessing anything. You may also want to establish staggered lunchtimes and breaks in order to follow the guidelines.

Staged Implementation

Just like the government is taking us through stages of released hibernation, the same can be applied to your office. Current guidelines will most likely change over a period of time and whatever modifications you make to your commercial interior now, must be adaptable and have longevity.
Any type of modular furniture will allow you to add or subtract easily. Likewise, with the implementation of modular planning principles, you won’t be throwing money away. The basic footprint of an office can also be the footprint of four Covid conscious workstations. Similarly, the footprint of two offices can convert to a boardroom space. If you want to follow these principles, you do need to spend time getting the modular layout right. But the final flexible result will be very much worth the attention to detail.

existing office and open plan workstations            office space converted to open plan

Office with Workstations                                           Open Plan Workspace

Gizmo’s, Gadgets & Bleach Friendly

And finally, if your workspace is pretty close to being Corona-Safe and may only need a few tweaks.
Why not consider some of the following design elements that will give you peace of mind.

  • Automated Options

    • Automated doors to eliminate manual use
    • Phone connectivity and use of "smart" technology
    • Cloud based IT and support systems
  • Workstation Accessories

    • Screen extensions
    • Glass safety barriers
    • Slide on and off desktop surfaces
    • Moveable workstation dividers
  • Surface Technology

    • Solid surfaces such as Corian and Hi Macs
    • Anti-microbial powdercoat finishes to steel surfaces
    • High pressure laminates inhibiting bacteria growth
  • Bleach Friendly Fabrics

    • Moisture barrier finishes for permanent protection against fungus, bacteria & mildew
    • Bleach cleanable
    • Environmentally improved production processes
  • Airconditioning

    • Frequent maintenance of filters and equipment
    • Sufficient ventilation to enclosed spaces
    • Maintaining your system at it's optimum capacity
  • Automated Options

    • Automated doors to eliminate manual use
    • Phone connectivity and use of "smart" technology
    • Cloud based IT and support systems
  • Workstation Accessories

    • Screen extensions
    • Glass safety barriers
    • Slide on and off desktop surfaces
    • Moveable workstation dividers
  • Surface Technology

    • Solid surfaces such as Corian and Hi Macs
    • Anti-microbial powdercoat finishes to steel surfaces
    • High pressure laminates inhibiting bacteria growth
  • Bleach Friendly Fabrics

    • Moisture barrier finishes for permanent protection against fungus, bacteria & mildew
    • Bleach cleanable
    • Environmentally improved production processes
  • Airconditioning

    • Frequent maintenance of filters and equipment
    • Sufficient ventilation to enclosed spaces
    • Maintaining your system at it's optimum capacity
  • Automated Options

    • Automated doors to eliminate manual use
    • Phone connectivity and use of "smart" technology
    • Cloud based IT and support systems

But Wait…There’s a Bit More

Bellfort are offering clients with offices over 200sqm a free workplace assessment. This assessment includes the following:

Review how well your business functions in it’s current space
Considerations regarding relocating, refurbishing, reducing or increasing your office space.
A covid safe workspace review is included as part of the assessment.

Contact us on 6141 1030 or email info@bellfort.com.au to arrange an appointment. You may also like to view one of our recent blogs regarding co-working spaces and their functionality. Click here to check it out.

Some of our valued clients
Phone+61 (08) 6141 1030Office

Unit 6, 513 Hay Street, Subiaco, WA, 6008 Australia