As many of our valued partners work towards bringing their staff back to work in office environments over the next 6 months, we’ve been asked what they can do to make their office spaces safer while the immediate threat of COVID 19 still presides.
Reconfiguring workspaces while prioritizing health is certainly at the top of everyone’s mind.
Distancing – Design trends over the last decade have emphasized on smaller cubicles with low divider screens in a Benching style arrangement. This design although esthetically pleasing certainly doesn’t reduce the risk of COVID transmission in a working environment. Maintaining social distance is key and this can be achieved with most systems furniture products by simply flipping the orientation of workstations or strategically installing filler panels to increase distance between stations.
Screens – Most cubicle manufacturers offer the ability to raise the height of your panels in between workstations to reduce the risk of particles travelling from one workspace to another. After market Plexi and glass screens are also available which create a barrier without eliminating the open space ambiance within your office.
Fresh Air – Simply introducing fresh air into your workplace is one the simplest ways to reduce the spread of any contagions.
Kevin Belusa – President of Air and Flow Genuity says “There is no silver bullet for COVID. There are only strategies used in conjunction with one another that can help reduce the spread. Cleaning helps reduce touched based transmission. But what about transmission in the air? Aerosolized pathogens are transferred through a facility by moving with particles. Therefore, removing and diluting particles in the space is one of the best solutions to minimizing a potential transmission. Diluting particles as they are being generated in a room, by a cough or a person talking loudly requires you to know particle counts and have building systems respond with the introduction of fresh air in a manner that is cognisant of energy and carbon emissions. The new paradigm in office ventilation is emerging and AirGenuity can help reduce operating costs, increase safety and provide tools to establish the comforted in your building needed by staff and employers – to get people back into your spaces.”
CLEANING – www.tennier.ca
It is possible to return to the office safely, says Darren Slemko, President of Tennier Sanitation. It’s just a matter of being smart, careful, and ensuring everyone has the knowledge and training they need. “It’s important to choose the right disinfectants and sanitizers – and then use them properly,” he says. Different products have different ‘dwell times’, for example: The amount of time they need to be left on a surface in order to reach maximum efficacy. Quickly wiping a surface with a product that needs to sit for 5 minutes won’t deliver the results you need to stay safe. “We also recommend that before you choose products, you check the Health Canada website [https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html ] to make sure they’ve been confirmed effective, especially when it comes to coronavirus.”
For more information on workplace cleaning, PPE and safety in a pandemic, click on the links below:
What you need to know about the cleaners you’re using
Using the right masks at work
Furniture – www.wurkfurniture.com
Joe Melo – President Wurk Furniture
When COVID-19 first became an issue and employers started to have to send people home in order to protect them, we began to look at ways that we could help protect employees that had to stay in the office and that were destined to come back at some point. We quickly developed products such as universal barriers that could work on many different systems to protect workers from spreading COVID-19. in our case we decided to use tempered glass rather than plexi because you can clean it with pretty much anything & not deform it. We also worked closely with our customers in order to create floor plates that promote social distancing. We had to get a new understanding of what our clients did and how they worked in order to provide viable solutions, it was paramount in making sure that the environment was going to be safe for their employees to come back. One of the key requests that we received was to be able to remove the barriers without damaging the actual furniture they were being installed on. We took this request very seriously as it symbolized hope that this would soon be over. We continue to develop products to help our clients address the day to day needs especially in these trying times.