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breakroom design waiting room design

Waiting Room, Washroom and Breakroom Design in a Post-Covid World

 

Many offices and organizations are in a state of transition now. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and things “return to normal,” many business leaders have to navigate the complex process of welcoming back employees, guests, visitors, and clients to their workspaces. As such, quality design choices in public spaces like waiting rooms, washroom facilities, and breakrooms can have a big impact on the nature of a workspace now and well into the future. Here, we’ll discuss some important design considerations for public areas at private offices in a post-Covid world:

Prioritize Cleanliness & Hygiene

Keeping an office clean and encouraging personal hygiene are smart public health practices at all times. This means that business leaders may consider leaving in place certain COVID-19 protocols forever. Having hand sanitizer available, scheduling regular cleaning sessions, removing clutter on a regular basis, and wiping down commonly-touched surfaces are all worthwhile practices that can help cut down on the spread of many illnesses. Additionally, keeping public areas clean and fresh is imperative for any business that welcomes guests or visitors. People will judge your waiting room or your bathroom just as much as they will judge your personal office.

Physical Distancing

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic many businesses either significantly reduced or eliminated public spaces in their offices. Now though, as businesses re-open to the public, the question of personal space has become very prescient. One of the lingering effects of COVID-19 might be an added emphasis on physical distancing in public areas. Where tables, chairs, and gathering places were once placed close together, businesses may now be well-advised to keep them spaced out. Many individuals may be hesitant to share close quarters with others for a long time to come. What’s more, increased privacy in washrooms, breakrooms, and even waiting areas may improve office functionality. People value their own personal space, after all.

Virtual Possibilities

A large number of organizations introduced new virtual measures over the past year or so. While many were short-term policies, some organizations may continue to offer remote employment options and remote services to clients. This means that virtual meetings may still play a vital role in how an office functions moving forward. Crucially, having the capacity to connect with coworkers/clients can help businesses retain flexibility –– which leads us to our final point . . .

Versatility

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict the future. Businesses have to change and adapt all the time, which is why versatility is so important to overall office design. Purchasing multi-purpose furniture, for instance, can help your organization change your office layout on an as-needed basis. Plus, work areas that serve more than one purpose will allow your company to most effectively use the space available in your office. Some businesses may even invest in products like modular walls, which can be deployed to significantly alter the layout of an office on a temporary basis. Given the current state of general uncertainty around so many issues, business leaders may benefit from opting for flexible office design concepts that allow them to adapt to new developments quickly and effectively.

Contact Us

Key Interiors is dedicated to helping our clients find office design solutions that fit their needs, budget, and timeframe. We have years of experience in this field, and we’ll work with your team through the entire design and build-out process. Contact us here to learn more or to schedule a consultation with us today.

Categories
workstation design

A Workstation is NOT a Cubicle –– Emerging Trends in Workstation Designs

 

A Workstation is Not a Cubicle

For years, the cubicle was one of the most dominant and easily-recognizable features of corporate office design. And cubicles are among the most divisive design elements still in use today. However, they are not the same as a workstation –– even if they share similar applications. Here, we’ll discuss the major differences between cubicles and workstations and outline several key emerging trends in workstation design:

Cubicles vs Workstations

The biggest difference between a cubicle and a workstation comes down to privacy. Cubicles are, by their very nature, private work areas. In other words, they have walls and workstations don’t. However, workstations aren’t just cubicles with the walls taken down. Often, workstations are engineered to accommodate multiple employees at a time. In addition, some organizations use workstations in open office environments to encourage frequent collaboration between employees.

Neither cubicles nor workstations are inherently better than the other. Cubicles can be a good option for professionals who value personal space and privacy, while workstations can help promote communication and togetherness. The decision to implement cubicles or less traditional workstations should be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the unique needs and priorities of the company involved. It’s also worth noting that some organizations use a combination of cubicles and open work stations at the same time.

Office Design Trends

It would be unwise to ignore the potential long-term effects COVID-19 might have on workplace design trends. As we discussed in an earlier blog, businesses will likely look to maintain separation between employees in the office in the months to come; remote technology will also remain important even as restrictions are lifted.

 However, flexibility may be the most substantial workplace design trend of the current moment. Businesses need to have versatile office spaces that they can change, alter, and rearrange on an as-needed basis. For many, office layout is no longer a static concept, but one that evolves somewhat frequently.

Workstation Design Trends

Personalization has become an increasingly visible aspect of workstation design in recent years. Since employees are now spending more time in the workspace, many employers encourage their staff to personalize their desks. It’s easy to understand why personal effects would improve the way an employee perceives their office environment.

Generally speaking, though, many workstation design elements are meant to encourage communication and teamwork between employees. Some office setups require professionals to jump from station to station depending on their project. And workstations should allow employees to communicate more freely without cumbersome cubicle walls in the way.

Striking the right balance between privacy and collaboration has always proved a challenge for interior office designers. As businesses begin to transition away from COVID-19 protocols, weighing the benefits of employee privacy against the need for quality communication has never been more important –– or complicated. The good news is that by working with design professionals, you can craft a workspace that allows your team members to perform at their best –– whether you prefer cubicles, workstations, or a combination of the two.

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ll work with you through every step of the design process to create an office that you, your team, and your visitors will love. From initial design concepts, to build-out and implementation, our professional staff will be there with you to ensure your office redesign goes as smoothly as possible. Contact us here to learn more or to get started with us today.