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.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.