Office ergonomics and amenities will be the key in encouraging people back to work
As coronavirus vaccination programs begin rolling out in various parts of the country, office work is expected to resume after June of 2021. While this is a tentative timeline, researchers, as well as workers, are optimistic that by this time, there will be at least be two workdays spent inside the office.
For businesses and companies, this means that preparations for this return should be done as early as now. Even with the vaccines and health protocols in place, it still falls upon office and business leaders to take precautionary measures ensuring that workers are safe within their premises.
The way we work has been severely affected by the pandemic, and as office operations resume, we’re looking at mixed work arrangements. Some employees will have to perform tasks in-office while others do them elsewhere, necessitating new conditions that are conducive to hybrid tasks like video conferencing and calls.
One way to ready the office for these changes is to adopt the pivot space concept. A lot of emphasis is placed on the extensive use of modular furniture, making it easy to modify the space to become either workstations or meeting zones. Several of our products like the hushWork.sit&stand and the hushmeet.open cabins could easily meet those needs.
The former gives individual employees a chance to be isolated from their colleagues to either perform work in ergonomic positions or hop onto virtual calls thanks to the impeccable acoustics; while the latter has enough space for two persons to convene and collaborate without confining them in an enclosed space with restricted airflow.
It’s common knowledge that bad posture leads to body aches and joint issues. However, there are a plethora of other health implications from poor posture. A study from Harvard Health reveals that it could also result in incontinence, constipation, poor digestion, poor balance, headaches, and breathing difficulties. As such, posture is detrimental to your employees’ overall health and performance.
All things considered, it would be beneficial for you to invest in ergonomic workstations. You don’t have to do an office overhaul, since the same can be achieved with the right ergonomic tools, such as adjustable monitor mounts and lumbar supports. These ergonomic tools offer back and spinal support so one can sit comfortably, and have the spine’s natural curvature reinforced. These are easy to incorporate into the office, affordable, and effective— a minuscule price to pay for your employees to feel comfortable and to help keep them in top shape.
Knowing what we now know about viruses, it’s high time to reconfigure office ventilation. Since most viruses are airborne, proper ventilation should be a priority. Just as previous pandemics changed the face of office architecture, COVID-19 may change air systems for good.
Sure, changing the entire office structure could be an option, but it’s costly and it takes a long time to accomplish. While it could be applicable for companies looking to relocate or build new offices, a more convenient solution for several others could be to reengineer the air conditioning system and install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA filters). These filters could be a great way to reduce the concentration of virus particles in the air. Additionally, you should also have your air conditioning set to pull air from outside instead of from the air circulating indoors, and at a speed of no less than 60 liters per second, per person.
As the world gradually returns to some semblance of “normal,” it’s only a matter of time until workers return to the office. When this happens, you should be ready and able to help provide a safe and healthy environment for your team.
Written only for thinkspaceoffice.com by guest contributor Diana Prim.