Pandemic space management – What will yours look like?

As we all adapt to the various challenges the progress of this pandemic throws at us, we realize sadly that this way of life (in some shape or form) is not likely to be for the short term. So now what for this next phase – the “managed” return to work and school, when the nation begins to reconsider ways how this could be made possible?

Government guidelines require 2 metres separation for people to maintain social distancing, and although this is a guideline in the UK, in Wales it is the law. So how to get the most out of your building? The former trend towards open plan offices has made this task harder, gone are the days of people having their own private offices and little palaces around themselves. Buildings were never designed to cope with this, previous top concerns were for ease of access and fire access which don’t cope well with a 2m separation rule. Adhering to the guidelines it is estimated that only some 15/20% of the buildings’ population would be able to return to work safely.

Our clients (most existing and some new) have been in touch to ask for help considering and implementing new measures to comply with the government regulations. J4 PM Dave Newell has been working with the BBC recently across their offices in the UK. The aim is to get their buildings to a state where they can control the social distancing for when we return to work – experienced with move management already, this takes the brief to another level.

Here are some of the key considerations:

  • Controlling routes of access and egress of buildings, it’s likely some routes will need to become one way, with a designated entrance and separate exit to the building.
  • Access to toilets, which typically are down the narrowest of corridors and in many situations a toilet block of multiple cubicles now becomes simply a block for one person at a time.
  • Tea points and kitchens are usual points of congregation which must be re thought
  • Maintaining a 2m separation between staff sat at their workstations is the start of the re-planning, this becomes much more restrictive once routes of flow and access to neighbouring workstations are factored in.

Our advice would be to start planning now, there is much to reconsider but a method and structure to follow which is helpful. Get in touch for advice or help.