It was hard to imagine when ‘Covid’ started to have an impact in the UK back in early 2020 that we would still be feeling the effects two years later.
At this date companies are still being advised to ask staff to work from home where they can.
The current Omicron variant has meant our daily lives are not yet back to normal and staff sickness is soaring. It’s easy to get bogged down in managing the immediate but it is the perfect time to sit back and plan strategically for the long-term use of your office space:
- How will you use your office facilities post-pandemic? This needs a brain storm amongst your senior managers and a really progressive think on best use of space. You want to get the maximum use for the price you pay. A company like Diamond Interior Contracts can radically alter the layout with minimum disruption to your teams. We can move or install internal walls, add partitions, use suspended ceilings to hide all the clutter behind your security/tech and lighting systems. We make design choices such as different flooring to demarcate a room and choose colours that soothe and relax or boost energy depending on the use of the space.
- Measures can be put in place to minimise the risk of any future virus variants scything through your workforce. Desks can be situated further apart but with a layout and transparent partitions that keep your team feeling connected. We can help you meet clients and still feel human and visible to them but in a space where the layout minimises the spread of germs. We install washrooms that have hands-free flush mechanisms and hands-free taps, as well as providing sanitising stations across the office for example.
- Has the rapid adoption of online meetings meant that you need to configure your space to permit the quiet required for an online meeting with one to one or multiple attendees? We have installed numerous ‘Zoom Rooms’ for existing clients – small, quiet, comfortable, sound-proofed and with tip top reliable comms.
- Work from home really emphasised the impact that poor working conditions can have on our physical health. The nation is sure to be suffering from increased back and neck problems with all those makeshift home office arrangements in place. Some staff may prefer standing desks now? Will you offer this as an option? Diamond Interior Contracts have carpenters who can make bespoke desks or we can source items for you. You might want to offer wellbeing classes to employees and need space where they can take a pilates class or a yoga class or try meditation. We can install blinds for privacy or obscured glass partitions.
- Mental health as well as physical health is affected by our working environment. Can you re-structure your workplace to provide staff with areas to relax? Anyone suffering long-term effects of the virus or finding it difficult to get back into the full office 9-5 routine without anxiety, needs to take time out in the day. Diamond Interior Contracts have installed fish tanks, tv screens, integrated speakers to play gentle music, sound minimising panels to aid complete distance from work pressures, comfortable booths etc.
- Spaces to eat and drink are often due an overhaul. Long gone are the days of a busy staff canteen with snaking lines of people standing next to one another. Organisations can provide several spaces by breaking up their current configuration, each of which could have a different feel so that those who firmly wish to dine alone (but not at their desk) have the opportunity to do so whereas others who are glad to be back to a more social environment can mix to eat, in a hygienic safe space.
- Nature is a key trend in interior design right now and greenery plus natural materials has huge value in commercial interior too. Particularly for staff who have been working from home and been able to access the countryside for walks, it can help to get through the day by building nature into the re-design plans. Diamond Interior Contracts are able to build in green walls, shelving for house plants, planters for big specimen plants, use natural woods and cork to help insulate rooms as well as decorate them in natural colours. All clever design touches which will make a difference to your workspace and bring it bang up to date.
These are just a few examples of how you might want to start re-thinking your office space in order to enable the back to work that will eventually happen and to allow your organisation to exploit the technologies that are making such sweeping changes to how we do business in 2022 and beyond.
Diamond Interior Contracts would be delighted to visit your place of work whether it is an office, a hospital, a warehouse, school, college or university and provide an on-site consultation with quote. Call us on 0208 315 8670