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iStock 1276413465
iStock 1276413465

The future of Covid-safe office space: relaxation rooms and cafe-style settings

Office fit-out experts Eden London provide their insight into the future of Covid-safe office design.

One of the big changes brought about by Covid-19 has been the rise in remote working, and for many people in the UK and around the world, work-from-home life is here to stay. But for those who are returning to office workspaces, the ‘new normal’ doesn’t just mean hand sanitiser and regular lateral flows: it also requires a new attitude to office design.

Restrictions and guidelines are in place for employers to create covid-safe working environments that reduce the risk of the virus spreading within organisations, and help employees feel safe returning to an office environment. But what does that mean for employers?

Here are some key considerations:

  1. Distance: Complying with the 6ft/2m social distancing rule at all times.
  2. Circulation: Satisfactory ventilation of shared spaces.
  3. Surfaces: thorough, regular cleaning of furniture, walls and floors.

While many of these requirements can be remedied with simple solutions like opening windows and more regular cleaning, employers can go one step further with office design updates like spread out desks in open-plan areas, the addition of screens and workplace enclosures, and new processes like designated seating, fixed teams and “hot desking”.

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A recent BBC survey found that 70% of people believe employees will “never return to offices at the same rate” as before the pandemic, but HR teams are certain making changes to office design will have a positive impact:

“Where people can see their employer has taken well considered and appropriate steps to protect them and support their wellbeing with physical workplace measures or increased flexibility for remote working, it helps them to feel safer and more valued. This in turn contributes to a culture where trust and mutual respect can flourish and people naturally feel happier and more engaged with their organisation, driving greater levels of motivation and productivity.” – Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced HR Software

So what are the best steps to take for those wanting to go one-step further to create a COVID-safe space for employers to get the most out of the traditional office dynamic while meeting key legislation?

Relaxation rooms and cafe-inspired spaces which allow teams to collaborate, have informal meetings and ideation sessions in a scaled-back, socially-distanced way are set to become increasingly popular. For more information about office design in the covid-aftermath, read our full article:

For those interested in updating their office space to meet COVID safety regulations, Eden London is an office fit out specialist covering the South East. They can advise you on the best solutions for your needs.

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