Coronavirus: How to modify your office safely
As Interior Designers we’re looking in to what we can do to help others in our current situation- we’ve always believed Interior Design has transformational effects on our well- being and happiness, but now due the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s more important than ever that our interiors adapt to our new way of living outside the home.
With the government’s guidelines to hand, we want to help you make the transition in to going back to work run as smoothly as possible. We want to help people feel comfortable and above all feel safe to return to an office with others. We have the challenge of adapting existing office interiors to apply to the new normal of strict hygiene and social distancing.
We would like to offer our services to help you get back to work more easily, using our expertise in space planning, kitchen design and interior lifestyle. We would like to help relieve some of the stresses of this giant task ahead of us. We believe there are four interior design steps we can assist with to improve offices to meet the government guidelines- These positive changes can also help achieve long-term lifestyle benefits within the workplace.
1. Space Planning and Layout
With our access to CAD we can look at your office in plan view to scale, this gives us opportunity to draw up a layout that works for the size of the space. In plan we can provide a new functional desk re-configuration, outlining the 2-meter safe working distances for each employee. During this process we will discover the maximum capacity of the space and look into how we can make this work to suit everyday life in the office. We will propose helpful signage to guide employees, outlining clear routes around the space, investigate one- way systems and floor-zoning.
2. Furniture and Materials
We understand budgets might not be in place to do a full furniture overhaul, so there are ways to work with existing office furniture by adapting desks to have screens. It’s important to us that design adaptations don’t feel clinical or forced, we want newly designed spaces to be inviting and have a positive effect on people’s mood.
The office kitchen is certainly a heavy traffic area, commonly used appliances can be a tricky update, we will consider innovative design solutions such as ‘touch free’ cabinetry design and ‘hands free’ appliances that can be control by a simple phone app.
Clever use of materials will also provide a successful transition in to a more considered way of living, investing in furniture or worktops with hygenic properties with wipe down surfaces or re-upholstering chairs with anti-microbial external fabric that can be easily be deep cleaned will all help us achieve our goal.
3. Technology and Design Modifications
Embracing technology is the key in creating a future proof design scheme to stand the test of time. Previously we’ve worked with incorporating technology into our interior design projects such as automatic lighting systems or electric ‘timer run’ blinds. Using our experience, we can work together to look how commercial spaces can benefit from these features, and look to update existing features such a WC flushes to be sensor controlled or changing doors to be automatic.
4. Interior Styling and Accessories
Overall, we strive for spaces we design to be a pleasurable place to be in, using trade techniques we consider details such as the psychology behind colour and how to create calming and productive environments. Final touches make all the difference, for example indoor greenery or a green wall to improve air quality and inspiring artwork to boost productivity while providing much needed daily inspiration.