Peter van Woerkum, chief operating officer at Cushman & Wakefield, has been reevaluating how offices need to transform as employees return to work. The company has since started testing out its “Six Foot Office” project that hopes to create a workspace that encourages physical distancing. The original trials started with a group of five and has now been expanded to 20 employees.
“When we launched, everybody immediately got extremely excited about the fact that there was a prospect of going back to the office at some point, and in a safe way,” said van Woerkum. “The feedback we’ve had so far has been that employees are really happy to be back in the office, and that there is some assurance that the company is taking care of their safety.”
Companies all over the world are experimenting with their own ways to welcome their employees back into the office. Still, the question remains, how can we keep employees safe and healthy in the workspace in the long-term?
The UK government offered some guidelines for offices to follow, such as encouraging hand washing, installing barriers to separate workers, reconfigure office layouts to keep people distanced, put up signage that emphasizes one-way traffic and more.
The British Council for Offices (BCO) offered up more specific advice for companies. For instance, companies should look into implementing automatic doors, natural ventilation systems, and tracking technology that can help keep workers at a distance and encourage them to keep their hands and desks clean.