The current Covid-19 crisis is posing some very interesting questions about offices and how layouts may need to be changed in the future.
In recent years we have seen a move towards complete open-plan layouts which include break-out and lunch areas – giving an airier feel to office environments and allowing staff the flexibility of free movement.
But will this thinking need to change as we adapt to the tighter restrictions enforced upon us by this pandemic? We simply don’t know how long it will be before we return to traditional normality and may have to accept a new norm for some time where:
- We will need to maintain social distancing
- Limit social contact to some degree
- Ensure levels of isolation within the workplace
A time for change?
Our team at Chrisbeon have many years experience in supplying office equipment, desks, chairs and so on, and designing and creating office layouts which best suit the requirements of a business – including reception and break-out areas which are likely to be among the first areas of the office to change.
Our thinking, and the thinking of clients, may need to alter in future to cater for a new way of working – a way in which staff can still carry out their job effectively while ensuring they can stay safe and healthy.
Future designs may well see offices reverting to:
- Areas of partition between departments
- Levels of screening to ensure workstation isolation
- A reduction in the free-flow activity
Buildings may need to incorporate extra space to allow for more stairs between floors to limit the use of cramped lifts where people are huddled together in just about as close proximity as you can get. Doorways and corridors may have to be wider and we could well see much larger spacious reception areas where people can exercise a greater level of distancing.
Furniture requirements are also likely to change. Desks have become smaller and hot-desking more prevalent, but if the need to keep staff further apart is going to remain a priority, we may see a return to larger desks, greater spacing between them and each employee having their own personal workspace.
The future remains uncertain although it does seem likely that we will be living with the implications of Covid-19 for some time.
Whatever the future holds, Chrisbeon will be here to supply your office needs – whether in terms of equipment or layout design and installation.