Office relocation can be a challenging process at any time. But it is arguably even more difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to all of the usual relocation logistics, you will want to make sure that the new office environment is safe against the spread of the coronavirus. To help your company with that side of office relocation, here are 10 safety tips.
1. Use a Checklist to Ensure Safety Procedures Are Followed at Each Stage of the Move
If you want to ensure the relocation goes smoothly and safely, you should be considering an office relocation checklist. By using a checklist, you can break down processes into manageable tasks and ensure safety procedures are followed at all times. Use a moving calendar to go through the relocation process and tick off tasks as they are accomplished, ensuring all workers involved with each task take Covid-19 safety precautions as outlined in your company policy and by the government.
2. Stay Up-to-date with the Latest Government Guidance
You should already be making sure that you and your employees are continually updated about changes in safety procedures based on the latest government guidance. But it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to keep up with the latest rules to keep everyone involved with your company safe.
3. Use a Flow Management System
Office relocation during Covid-19 times can be good in that it gives you the opportunity to redesign your office layout and features with safety in mind. You can potentially create a safer environment than your previous office space. The added benefit is you will help stop the spread of other seasonal viruses like flu. So, it is imperative that your company is Covid-conscious during the design stage of your new premises. One feature that you should consider introducing is flow management. That means introducing one-way routes to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Use navigation lines so that everyone in the space, employees, clients, and visitors alike, know how to safely navigate the office.
4. Place Social Distancing Circles on the Floor
In some areas of the office, it could be helpful to place two-metre circles on the floor to remind people to respect people’s boundaries via social distancing, regardless of whether it is the latest government guidance or not, to help to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
5. Put Up Clear Signage
In addition to things like circles on the floor and lines indicating the one-way system, it is important you remember to put up signs that tell anyone in the office space how to navigate the office and which other measures they must adhere to, such as wearing face masks or cleaning hands upon entering the space.
6. Add Hygiene Stations to the Office
A new office space gives your company the opportunity to provide more sanitation solutions to your employees. Add practical hand washing stations in strategic areas of the office space, such as by the entrance and by each department, to encourage the washing of hands, which helps to stop the spread of Covid-19.
7. Understand the Space Limitations
You need to conduct a thorough risk and safety assessment of the new premises to make the office as safe against Covid-19 as possible. That includes understanding the limitations of the office space. You may like to introduce 101 new measures to make the environment safe, but you can only do what is possible within the space you have. Identify existing safety inefficiencies and come up with creative ways to solve them.
8. Add Screens to Strategically Placed Desks
New premises also give you the opportunity to layout desks differently so that they are not so close and introduce new protective screens, which can aid in protecting people from airborne microbes. Workstations should be spaced two metres apart and positioned so that users are not facing each other. You may also like to reduce the number of touchable surfaces in the office because Covid-19 can spread by people touching surfaces.
9. Get Creative with Spaces Like Meeting Rooms
Designating certain rooms of a new office for specific purposes may not be as easy as it was pre-Covid. For instance, meeting rooms should no longer be at full capacity. So, the designers of the office layout should think creatively when it comes to delegating and designing spaces like meeting rooms to ensure everyone is safe.
10. Improve the Air Quality
The ventilation of your company’s new office can make a big difference in safety measures against Covid-19. When you have good ventilation, fresh or cleaned air comes into the office space. In turn, any airborne virus that is present will become more diluted. On the other hand, in poorly ventilated spaces, residual viruses can remain and increase the risk of people getting Covid-19. Improved HVAC systems and air purifiers will circulate cleaner and safer air, with better temperature control too. You can also maximize the supply of fresh air in your office space by having large fully or partially-opening windows and air vents to improve natural ventilation. You should also identify and improve any poorly ventilated spaces as part of your company’s overall safety assessment before employees begin working at the new premises. Another safety measure you could consider is using carbon dioxide monitors. They can show whether the office has a build-up of CO2 and needs improving. While CO2 levels are not a direct measure of Covid-19 exposure, the monitors can help you to generally monitor and improve air quality.