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Considerations for Returning to a Healthy Workplace

Help Your Employees Get Back to Work Safely

After a major disruption that affects work and life, getting back to the office requires an intentional strategy to assure employees feel they are safe and can remain healthy in their environment.

Successful transitions take a holistic approach, addressing health and well-being from a physical, mental, social and emotional perspective. Here are some tips to ease your employees back to the workplace Post-COVID-19 and give them confidence in their work environment.

01.

Develop people-focused policies and procedures

 
Flexible Work Strategies

Establish flexible work strategies such as:

‣ Remote work options

‣ Alternate shifts of A/B team schedules

‣ Phase employees’ return to work in stages

Allocate spaces and tools to discourage shared usage

Allocate spaces and tools to discourage shared usage

‣ Assign seats and storage for individuals

‣ Dedicate meeting spaces and neighborhoods for teams

‣ Provide personal phones, electronics and equipment

Upgrade technology for seamless, reliable remote working and encourage its use to minimize meetings and travel

Upgrade technology for seamless, reliable remote working and encourage its use to minimize meetings and travel

Implement a robust change management strategy with extensive communication to prepare, support and help individuals and teams make adjustments

02.

Create spaces that allow people to be “alone together”

 
Consider spacious layouts or stagger users to maintain 6-foot distances

Consider spacious layouts or stagger users to maintain 6-foot distances

Create enclosures or delineate space

Create enclosures or delineate space

Incorporate soft architectural solutions

‣ Panel-based furniture systems (Reff Profiles, Dividends Horizons)

‣ Wall systems (Rockwell Unscripted Creative Wall)

‣ Drapery & Dividers (KnollTextiles, Spinneybeck, FilzFelt)

‣ Post-based power systems (Interpole)

Specify furniture solutions

‣ Screens, panels and dividers

‣ Storage units

‣ Movable markerboards

‣ Plants

Reduce the number of people in meeting spaces

Reduce the number of people in meeting spaces

03.

Assure employee safety and well-being

 
Maintain a healthy physical environment

Maintain a healthy physical environment

‣ Provide well-lit spaces with daylight and nature views

‣ Assure that ventilation keeps clean air flowing in and helps direct air down

‣ Specify fabric and finishes with antimicrobial properties and/or bleach-cleanable surfaces

Add sensors and no-touch technology for hands-free operation

‣ Doors, lighting, elevators, security systems

‣ Audio/visual equipment

‣ Height-adjustable tables, task lights

Support employee health and wellness

‣ Conduct temperature checks

‣ Sponsor programs for physical and mental well-being

‣ Encourage employees to stay home when not feeling well

Promote hygienic measures

Promote hygienic measures

‣ Implement daily cleaning and sterilization protocols

‣ Post visible reminders to wash hands

‣ Supply hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes

‣ Provide personal mugs and water bottles and dishwashers with Sani-wash cycles

Related Resources

About Knoll Workplace Research

Through research, Knoll explores the connection between workspace design and human behavior, health and performance, and the quality of the user experience. We share and apply what we learn to inform product development and help our customers shape their work environments.

To learn more about this topic or other research resources Knoll can provide, visit www.knoll.com/research.

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Product Maintenance, Care and Cleaning