It goes without saying that COVID-19 has had an immense impact on the way we conduct our lives.

As we ease back into a level of what we consider “normality” there are clearly careful considerations and planning required in relation to returning to work and study. The WHO advises that all work and education establishments need to consider how best to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

It is paramount to build trust and confidence with to ensure that individuals feel safe to return to work or study. So, how can this be achieved swiftly and effectively?

There are two key areas that need to be addressed:

  • Environmental changes – these include practical mitigations that are not driven by behaviour such as attention to the HVAC system, clearly marked one way systems / boundaries, restricted access , and enhanced cleaning regimes.
  • Behavioural changes – these require the individual to do things differently, such as applying strict clear desk policies to ensure workspaces can be cleaned, ensuring that social distancing is respected and generally being more aware of the restrictions required to keep safe. Clear signage throughout the space will help reinforce the messages that we are all aware of by now.

Key considerations:

  • How will access and egress of the building(s) need to be adapted for occupants during the re-population?
  • What will the maximum safe occupancy be – will you provide screens between desks / areas?
  • Are the WC and shower provisions COVID safe?
  • Will you need to adopt a longer, staggered day?
  • How will common and shared spaces like reception areas, lifts, breakout spaces, meeting rooms, catering facilities etc be cleaned and maintained until things return to normal? Will some areas be unavailable for use?
  • Cleaning procedures and timetabling must be factored in, introduce hand sanitiser stations .

How we can help?

COVID-19 return to work layouts

To facilitate the recommended social distancing/density and understand risk we can provide layouts of your space that identifies the areas that will need to be modified and provides options on how to safely occupy the space to include the introduction of one way systems, taking desks out of use and / or installing screening and applying a maximum occupancy to some areas (at time of writing the limit for gatherings in one space is 30 people)

Clearly your ratio of space to individual will be significantly increased and some areas may not be suitable for use (based on the current guidelines) however all this will all become apparent as part of this exercise. We will ensure that we acheive the most efficient and safest solution, whilst working with you to limit excess expenditure in what is a temporary solution.

Further reading – government recommendations and best practices