As the COVID-19 lockdown enters its fifth week, businesses are eager to safely return to something approaching normal operations. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has laid out an initial approach for gradually loosening restrictions on businesses, including allowing certain non-critical businesses to safely return to work. Prior to loosening restrictions for a given setting, Walz says businesses must create, share, and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. This plan needs to set out the actions that a company is taking to ensure social distancing, worker hygiene, and facility cleaning necessary to keep workers safe.
To return to work, businesses need to rethink how their spaces function to ensure the safety of staff and customers. As Twin Cities commercial interior designers, PlanForce works every day to create workspaces that help people and businesses thrive. We can help evaluate the state of your current space and recommend any needed spacing, workflow, or structural changes.
Workspace Evaluations for COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
Our evaluation looks at several key factors required for your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. To get your company back to work, we look at:
An important part of keeping your workforce healthy as we return to normal operations will be increasing physical distance between employees. CDC guidelines call for people staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from one another. PlanForce will evaluate your workspace and make recommendations for how to reconfigure your space to ensure physical distancing. This includes moving workstations, removing seating from meeting rooms and work areas, and adding markers to remind people about distancing.
You’ll also want to keep staff from bumping into one another as they travel through your workspace. PlanForce can help you plan how to flow people through your space, to keep work moving while limiting physical interactions. This includes limiting traffic to one direction around your space and restricting movement between departments and functions. Some areas, such as communal kitchens and small conference areas, may need to be closed off entirely.
The era of the open office is likely over thanks to COVID-19. While it’s probably too soon to replace all of your benching stations with 8-foot tall cubicles, you will want to provide temporary barriers between workers. These are especially needed where it is impractical to space people out at least six feet. PlanForce will help you evaluate where barriers are needed and how to use them to strategically manage limited space.
Are you ready to get back to work?
Designing your COVID-19 Preparedness Plan is essential to getting operations moving again. Contact us today to determine the changes needed to get your workspace ready for action.