A safe return to education in 2021
Moving into 2021 workspaces have been required to adapt to meet our growing needs and to accommodate the new way of working. This affects not only office spaces, but also education. The restrictions around social distancing place added pressure to ensure that students have a safe place to work.
Across the board many establishments will be faced with large numbers of students who are behind on learning following a period of home based study and the disruption caused by covid-19.
Libraries have become the academic heart of the campus; a base for meetings, collaborative projects and community activities. Today’s library is a broad resource and must accommodate a wide variety for learning.
In order to facilitate a smooth return for students changes must be implemented to ensure that study spaces are equipped to handle not only large numbers of students in a safe manner, but without limitations to the dynamics of the space.
Workspaces that work for you
Areas designated for different kinds of study are required, and getting them right will be key to enabling a safe return to school and the ability to equip students with the tools they need to get back on track. This development doesn’t require more real estate, but simply rethinking how the library space is used.
Surveys taken from students at Carnegie Mellon University and Cleveland State University showed that access to electric outlets in study spaces is considered to be the most crucial factor. Students said they liked enclosed study spaces because it provided them with a place to facilitate collaborative working or group projects, which can be difficult to accommodate in a traditional library setting.
Enclosed study rooms need to be acoustically private so that they are distraction-free, but also provide a place for collaborative working without disrupting larger areas for quiet individual work which may be nearby.
Find your hushoffice solution
Hushoffice booths have many applications and can be used to provide versatile areas to benefit different styles of learning. The hushMeet and hushMeetLarge work as larger space for group work, this enables a space for collaboration and discussion which is not often permitted in large spaces for quiet study. Alternatively the hushWork provides space for a single user who requires a distraction free zone for up to 4 hours of uninterrupted work.
An option which may also be of great use in libraries is the hushPhone, a space for phone calls to be taken away from the main study space. We have all had our experiences of trying to work with a noisy phone call taking place nearby and providing a specific spot for calls can eliminate this distraction.
All booths include the necessary power outlets, lighting and ventilation. The addition of Hush booths will improve the dynamics of open study spaces and benefit learning as a result.