In a recent survey, 87% of workers said they would appreciate it if their employer offered healthier workplace benefits. For example, more ergonomic seating and healthier lunch options. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, designers and fit-out project managers are expecting to see an increase in demand to include hygienic features in office designs. Below we list some of the ways interior designers may be able to include health and hygiene inspired ideas in their office design projects.
1. More hygiene stations
In a standard office, you will probably find sinks in the bathroom and in the kitchen area. If an office is trying to improve its health and hygiene, however, business owners may want various sinks included around the office to increase the cleanliness of the office.
2. Independent workspaces
In the past decade, hot-desking and collaborative workspaces have risen in popularity. In light of COVID-19, however, we are expecting to see a rise in independent workspaces over collaborative areas. Employees will feel more safe and comfortable working in their own area, and independent stations will be easier to clean and maintain.
3. Sanitary surfaces
To improve the hygiene of an office, interior designers should look to use surfaces that can be easily cleaned and sanitised. Automatic doors will also be more popular, as employees will look for an alternative to frequently used and touched door handles. We offer solutions for sanitising flooring (soft and hard flooring) as well as office furniture and fittings. A cleaning regime during installation as well a set routine will need to apply. We can advise based on number employees what that should look like. It is also possible demand will increase for anti-bacterial flooring of which we have several ranges, including our Duragrip range.
4. Personal touches
Due to COVID-19, many offices are asking their employees to work from home. Once employees are invited back to an office, they will miss certain home comforts that have grown accustomed to whilst working remotely. For this reason, you may wish to ask employees what design touches they would like to see in their new office.
5. The importance of light and technology.
There is a great article in This Week in Facilities Management that addresses many of the thoughts around the changes that will be required when employees start to return to the office. One belief they have is that spaces that introduce natural light, as well as outdoor areas, are likely to be viewed by employers as an important investment into workers’ wellbeing after COVID-19. Other options include specialised lighting that mimics natural light, while digital capabilities such as smart windows and sensor technology can help manage lighting and ventilation.
We understand this is a difficult time for many designers and would like to offer as much support as possible. If you have a question about commercial flooring or a sanitising regime with our Rhinosan range, we are glad to help our clients incorporate wellbeing hygiene into office design at every opportunity.