How COVID-19 could impact workplace design and employee movement


A) Impact of COVID-19 in IT world

Surely, life post-COVID-19 will change drastically, right from the way we meet people to the way we dine in the restaurant. These changes must be taken up by the individuals consciously to keep themselves and their loved ones away from the trap of COVID-19.

The world has seen the biggest economic crises ever in the history and IT sector has been one of the majorly affected industries. COVID-19 encouraged the entire country to enforce lockdown because of which the IT world witnessed the sales graph inching towards the south and thus causing depression in the economy of the country and worldwide.

B) Impact on workspace requirements and designs

Since COVID-19 has proven to be the disease that can be transmitted by meeting the infected person, this raised the alarm in the private office & office coworking spaces. It has propelled the Bangalore business center & space with shared offices to take necessary measures and restrict the virus from entering the office space. Several things are bound to change in the IT world, right from the workstation placements to the way of conducting the meetings.

One can see the use of thermal scanners on the employees before entering the building, frequent use of hand sanitizers, compulsory use of face mask, and the most important part is social distancing. So, these are some changes that can be seen in the IT world in the coming days.

As the government has enforced a mandatory law that social distancing should be followed between the two workstations in the company. Shared office space providers and business centers will henceforth be seen abiding by the rules of the government when it comes to maintaining the social distancing at the workplace.

The approach of coworking spaces to overcome this challenge

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, shared office, plug and play office spaces & furnished office for rent providers should take necessary precautions such as:

Proper distance between the workstations: Contrary to the old days of two workstations placed closer to each other in some companies, now all the coworking space must place two workstations well apart from each other to follow the rule and prevent the spread.

Sanitizing the washrooms frequently: Extra care should be taken when it comes to the places where more people visit on a regular basis and washroom being one such place. It needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Avoid the use of doors with hands: Since doorknobs and handles are also susceptible to the virus, coworking space should adapt to the technology of using legs to open the door.

Lift ethics: The limited number of employees should be entertained in the lift premises and the use of a toothpick to press the button in the lift can also be practiced as the precautionary measures.

Staircase railings: In a traditional office or a collaborative space, staircase railings can also be one of the major reasons for transmitting the virus. A co-working place should make sure that these railings are being cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.

How to design an employee cabin

Design of the employee cabin plays a major role in combating with this situation, the following are some of the points that can be taken into consideration while designing:

  • Separate work pods for each employee should be used, which endorses isolated workspace culture.
  • Work pods should be provided with separate disinfectant spray.
  • integrated UVC up light should be mounted on the top of these work pods.
  • These pods should be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.

Cafeteria Ethics

The cafeteria is one of the places where people gather in mass and hence it is more prone to spread the virus rapidly. Coworking places should come-up with the strategy of making different batches of employees and allot a specific time for having food or can adopt any other strategy which suits them the best.

Coworking places should ensure that dining tables are placed keeping social distancing into consideration and the same should be followed for the chairs placed around the table.

Apart from social distancing the kitchen staff and catering staff should be advised to wear necessary kits while preparing and serving the food to keep the food clean and hygienic. Cleaning staff should clean the tables and chairs after every batch finishes the food. Employees should be advised not to share or spill the food.

Proper washing of the hands with soap and water. Scrubbing your hands with soap for 20 seconds after having food is also a best practice. 

Meeting room precautions

Gone are those days when employees used to sit close to each other for discussions in the meeting rooms and conference rooms, now the COVID-19 outbreak has made employees be cautious in terms of interacting with the colleagues, some rules that need to be followed regarding the meetings are:

  • Employee a staff to direct the guest directly to the meeting room, avoid making them wait in the lobby.
  • Placing the chairs far from each other as to support social distancing.
  • Avoid using shared pens and telephones in the meeting room.
  • Sanitizing the projector remote control before and after using it.
  • If the meeting demands the participation of many employees, then it can be conducted via the internet.

 Employee working process as per the Govt. Rule.

  • Employees should follow the rule of social distancing by at least 6 feet with the employees and customers.
  • They should avoid shaking hands and similar greetings which breaks the physical distancing norm.
  • Employees should be advised to wear a face mask in the office and in the vehicle during travel with their colleagues or clients.
  • Frequent practice of washing hands and using the sanitizers should be followed.
  • They should avoid using shared office equipment like keyboards, phones, copiers, staplers, etc.
  • Employees can conduct meetings with prospects or clients via phone or the internet.

How Novel office creating the workplace for the same

Safety of the employees and encouraging the clients to run their business in these tough times is on one side and on the other side it is to make sure that we follow the social distancing rule and abide by the rules as directed by the government, this situation has encouraged us to cultivate a unique way to customize our office in order to take the necessary measures to curb the spread of this lethal virus.

Novel Office has come up with a concept of Eco pods, Professional pods & Premium pods. These pods are designed specially to tackle such a sensitive situation and fight this invisible enemy. These pods are provided with integrated UVC up light on the top and a separate disinfectant spray for each pod, to ensure our clients are safe. In addition to this, these pods consist of Acrylic board, Metal/ AL frame, Acoustic board, Prelam board, Light fixture & 15MM HD PVC Foam sheet for a door.

In terms of the common areas like restrooms, cafeteria & lift, we have ensured that enough precautionary measures are being taken.

Conclusion: Keeping into consideration the employee’s safety and the abiding by the rules of the government, Novel office has made sure that necessary preventive measures have been taken in terms of the workplace design and the movement of the employees.

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