- Tram Ho
While you are reading this article, you are probably in the middle of social isolation and working online at home. But we all understand that this situation cannot last forever. Someday you will have to return to your office.
At that time, COVID-19 might not have been written off, and the vaccine is at least 12 months away from us. So how to ensure safety before the epidemic when not everyone is immune to SARS-CoV-2 virus?
That’s the question posed by Cushman & Wakefield, a Dutch commercial real estate company. And to answer that question, they created an office model that helped 10,000 organizations in China with nearly 1 million employees returning to work.
Cushman & Wakefield called it the 6-foot Office – inspired by the social distance recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic, equivalent to more than 1.8 meters. The office space has tables and chairs separated from each other to ensure that no employee violates the 6-foot radius of another employee.
It also encourages employees to wash their hands and have very intuitive symbols that help them practice social spacing, reducing close contact with colleagues in their offices.
” We have used design to promote personal behavior at work ,” said Despina Katsikakis, head of career performance at Cushman & Wakefield.
” As part of this work, we want to change insecure habits that are ingrained into the workplace, and expect that to be the way we work together in the future.”
6 feet office
In the video above, Jeroen Lokerse, Director of Cushman & Wakefield Netherlands, introduced you to an idea of a 6-foot Office. He says his team can redesign and turn any ordinary office space into a 6-foot format in just one week.
Using the arrows on the floor, employees are encouraged to walk only one way clockwise, in lanes lined around the office. This one-way traffic is the same approach that medical staff take in hospitals to help avoid spreading germs.
Every morning, employees entering the office must wash their hands with alcohol. Then, they were asked to take a piece of paper like wallpaper to put on their desk. At the end of the day, the personal paper will be discarded, which could help minimize some of the spread of COVID-19 through contact surfaces in the office.
Cushman & Wakefield even installs bluetooth-type sensors around their offices, allowing them to track the movement of all employees through locating mobile phones in their pockets.
This will allow the company to audit the effectiveness of office design. To see if employees are in close contact with each other? (Yes, for anyone who works outside an office management company, this sounds extremely private, but it works.)
But is that enough? (Not yet).
Although the ideas of the 6-foot Office seem to be promising, the question is whether a distance of nearly 2 meters in the office is enough to prevent the spread of a virus like SARS-CoV-2. not yet?
Studies show that the virus can live on the surface for days. And viruses containing aeresols can float in the air for up to 3 hours. They stay red to wait for others to touch or inhale and cause illness.
Based on that prism, the 2-meter spacing effort at the office can avoid COVID-19 transmission through close contact with the sick person, but it is not enough to ensure absolute safety for employees, especially Especially when they work in a small office, are many and have poor ventilation.
Most HVAC (air-conditioning and ventilation) systems in offices today take indoor air, not natural wind. That is, they only circulate the air inside the building, which is the flow of CO2 and the droplets we exhale, possibly including pathogens.
Cushman & Wakefield agrees with this. ” Improving the air purification system is the most important lesson we learn while working in China, ” Katsikakis said.
In the past few years, many office buildings in China have replaced high-end air purification systems and the government has even promulgated indoor air quality standards to cope with domestic pollution. increase. After the COVID-19 pandemic, that turned out to be to their advantage.
Katsikakis said that after COVID-19, companies should equip new air purification systems for their offices to get cleaner air. In the long run, businesses and developers may need to ” design buildings that are planned to provide clean air that is higher than current standards, ” Katsikakis said. ” I think we will see this become popular.”
Indeed, the team at Cushman & Wakefield believes that COVID-19 has changed the office and the way we work. It may have pushed the workplace environment to evolve 10 years faster, as now, more and more companies are turning to telework, and you can hear children crying in a meeting. Zoom only after one night.
And now, the SARS-CoV-2 virus seems to have shown us that the vulnerable vulnerability in office buildings is their air-conditioning system. When employees demonstrate the ability to work remotely, they will find it difficult to accept returning to work in a poorly ventilated office with a high risk of infection.
“I think we will see very interesting changes here ,” Katsikakis said. ” We are seeing an integration of work into life, which will change our views and expectations about how we work in the future. I think that as human beings, we always want to have connections. But when we are in the office, we want to be in a safer environment. “
Refer to Fastcompany
Source : Genk