Social Distancing and the Office

What is happening to our offices as we transition back to work?
Where will I sit?
Will my open collaboration space be 6 feet distance from my co-workers?
Will I be in a tall cubicle?
Will I be isolated?
Will I have a private office?
How many people will be at the office at the same time?
Will I be able to still work remotely?

These are very important questions for very important times. The office philosophy of open collaboration working spaces will have to go on hold, at least for now…it’s not about closeness, it’s about safety…
New Rules new game:
Yes to changing the present configuration and yes to less people interacting at the office at the same time…
Yes to one way entry and hallways.
New rules, same game…
No more shared desks and fewer people.
Let’s visit the present cubicle configuration. The open office layout will have to be reconfigured for social distancing and for privacy. The low panels can be made higher with plexiglass add on partitions that act as a barrier but may provide a more cost effective solution. The plexi glass can wipe down easily.
There are bleach cleanable panel and chair fabrics to consider.

Privacy booths :
Fortunately, our industry welcomed the privacy booth in the recent years. We have made progress concerning how more efficient and productive you can work in a privacy style booth layout. The flexibility of the privacy booth can be modular. It can be reconfigured easily and moved with little effort or downtime. The privacy booth is an excellent space to work part time and offers a recharging area for inspiration and productivity.

Working remotely :
One study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago showed as much as 37 percent of U.S. jobs could potentially be done remotely.
Almost overnight, remote work has become the new norm. Companies around the world are encouraging their employees to work from home to prioritize health and safety. Working from home can have its learning curves.
Fortunately we have demonstrated during this pandemic that working from home or remotely have proven to be productive and successful at least for now.
Get to Know Your Remote Work Productivity Tools 
How do we work at home and still be productive with the obvious distractions?
You will need the basics, a chair and a desk or table to work at. A comfortable chair may be more important working from home than it was at the office. Your job may require long hours sitting and talking from your smart phone and still more sitting during video conferencing or preparing reports, administrative work etc, on your computer. If you have some type of work top it can easily become a work station. If you are on a small budget consider the basic package:

If sitting for long hours describes your work day, invest in an ergonomic chair.
A chair that allows freedom of movement and adjustable positions. The Norwegian Capisco by Hag is an excellent active posture chair that encourages multiple positions while building better posture and helping to lessen any pain associated with sitting too long.

In conclusion, the temporary solution for employers may not be to spend a lot of money on buying all new office furniture for their new office spaces, but rather simply adding easily removable plexiglass safety shields to their existing low wall partitions or adding higher partitions to separate space and entries.
The freestanding privacy booth in multiple configurations is a solution for the partime employees and offers a private space to recharge and conference.

Regarding working from home: We now see how working from home can keep employees safe and save money. Continuing to work from home even after the pandemic is over will prove to be the new future for a large percentage of the workforce.