Cool Working 2.0: how to adapt workspaces in light of Covid-19 2/2
How can we adapt to the new safety requirements without foregoing places for socialising and meeting others? This is one of the biggest challenges that companies are facing amid this new situation caused by the Covid-19 healthcare crisis and the necessary safety measures that involve physical distancing between people.
Cool Working by Actiu was already applied to creating work spaces that encourage creativity, interaction between people and well-being; versatile spaces where workers can focus on their individual work whilst being able to spontaneously hold a meeting while having a coffee, and always in favour of well-being and comfort.
Companies had transformed their offices into a space for socialising in themselves, with specific areas for social relations such as the so-called “Coffice” (coffee + office), relaxation areas, meeting points, receptions and entrances... these are ultimately spaces where socialising was a mandatory task and where contact was almost unavoidable.
Ensuring people’s safety now involves generating work flows and implementing protocols and measures in order to maintain social distancing. To do so, these spaces need to seriously adapt to a series of behaviours that Actiu has covered in its guide entitled “How to adapt a work space in light of Covid-19”.
It provides solutions for reception areas, such as marking the waiting areas when capacity is full, placing hygiene points near to the counter, installing screens on reception counters with easy-to-assemble and clean systems such as Actiu’s new range of self-supporting screens, and putting lines down on the floor that mark the recommended distance whilst waiting to be attended to.
DOWNLOAD GUIDE: HOW TO ADAPT A WORKSPACE TO THE COVID-19
The current panorama is setting the scene whereby the priority at all levels must concern people's health and safety. That's why at Actiu we've developed this recommendations guide which will help you to adapt to the "new normality".
We will also have to limit the use of soft seating spaces to avoid a large gathering of people and relocate the furniture in order to ensure distancing guidelines. Placing biodegradable covers over seats and removing them after each person has used them is another of the proposed measures. Regarding the dining hall, capacity must be reduced to four people for every 10 square metres, and hygiene points must be placed near to the tables for before and after use, as well as avoiding the use of shared appliances such as fridges, coffee machines and microwaves.
In this public context, learning spaces inside offices are another of the working styles that Cool Working by Actiu tackles. Now, these spaces that were already designed for more flexibility with the furniture’s modular element being prioritised in order to guarantee versatility, are going to be adjusted with the power of ICT and by combining the use of technology with blended training. This is besides applying the capacity, distancing and hygiene measures recommended for all public spaces.
Cool Working also takes into account the opposite end of the spectrum, as there are individual tasks that require more privacy. Private spaces are even reserved for teams that ensure they are isolated. In this sense, these are the spaces that are going to undergo the least changes in terms of adapting to the safety measures. Although we should bear in mind that, for example, offices need to be restricted, capacity limited and chairs separated at meeting tables, or front-facing self-supporting screens or those fixed to dividing screens used.
On the other hand, capacity will also have to be limited in cubicles, and entries and exits respected in order to avoid people coming into contact with one another; biodegradable covers will have to be used for the seating and removed after each use; exhaustive cleaning will be carried out, with hygiene points positioned for before and after use of the cubicles; and, even placing a front-facing screen on tables to improve safety for those sitting there.
The health and safety requirements for this new era are going to condition work spaces, but with good planning, and above all, collaboration from the people using these areas, being aware of the situation and responsible in using the spaces, the creative, collaborative and efficient nature of these working environments will be safeguarded.