Category: Hot Desks

Pandemic-proofing offices

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve short-term fixes, new working patterns and long-term design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning.

Mitigate the risk 

The biggest priority and challenge for post coronavirus offices is controlling the infection.
How can we control contamination in open plan high density offices?
How can we control infection in hot desking environments?
Or communal and social spaces?
The challenges are many. We have to respond to COVID-19 crisis and mitigate the infection risk by introducing new safety features and measures and improving sanitisation and disinfection processes in our offices. It’s a big change that will create new work styles and build new working culture which we need to be prepared for.

2M rule

We have created some illustrations showing ways of changing office desk configurations to create greater space between your team members.

Here are some points to consider when you are thinking about re-configuring your office:

  • Can you turn back-to-back desks currently in the centre of the room around, so the operators face the walls?
  • Reducing density: Can you separate banks of desks so there are gaps between each set of two or four?
  • Can you spread workspaces around, so people are at least 2 meters apart?
  • Consider moving pedestals so that they are in the centre of the desks between two users, so they are physically unable to come together side by sideIf you have mobile pedestals, consider moving them out so they sit between the desks, increasing the space between the users
  • Consider moving filing cabinets/cupboards between desks to increase the space between the users
  • For face-to-face users, consider introducing additional barriers on top of desk top screens to increase protection from coughs or sneezes. Add screens beside and behind office workers, the higher and wider the better
  • Hot desking: Eliminate or introduce a strict clean in and clean out measures

Meetings and social spaces

It’s likely that before we start welcoming visitors to our workplaces, we can expect to spend much time meeting virtually with our customers and suppliers rather than sitting face-to-face around the meeting table.

With that in mind, we would recommend to thin out the meeting rooms to safely accommodate smaller groups with greater distancing. It’s important to remove alternative chairs and ensure there is always a 2m space in every direction between the chair positions.  There is also the potential to use these rooms to create working space for members of the team thus allowing us to provide greater distancing in office areas.  If meeting tables are modular and can be separated, do so to increase the distancing further. It’s recommended to even meet standing up in the open areas of your office. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can easily create a safe and productive meeting area.

Floor plan ideas

  • Decrease density by staggering lunches and breaks in cafes or other staff areas
  • Incorporate higher space division to naturally encourage distancing by introducing barriers such as screens, storage, large plants and partitioning
  • Introduce cubicle style office to protect personal desk space with higher screens
  • Adapt an owned desk space approach and reduce shared desking
  • Reduce guest seating in reception areas and introduce individual seating in lounge spaces
  • Easy access to disinfecting stations

Creative ideas on how to turn your home office into a stylish haven

Get a desk with built-in storage

When you have a small home office, storage tends to be an issue. Where on Earth will you store your stacks of sticky notes and cool pens? Before you know it, you’re elbow-deep in loose papers, wires. Invest in a desk that not only serves as a desk but can also be used to store all of those essentials that you don’t want lying around or in reach of your little ones!

Add a rug or cushions

This will give you a cosier feel to your work space, it can also make your workspace feel bigger.

Light it up

As well as ensuring you get as much natural light as possible we recommend turning off the harsh overhead lighting (that you don’t miss from your work office!) and instead using a mix of floor and table lamps or even candles to give off a smoother light that still does it’s job without making you squint!

Just add plants

Given that you’ll be spending a good chunk of your day at your desk, you may as well dress it up so that it’s visually stimulating and gives you a burst of energy when you start losing steam. One way to do this is with small plants. Use easy-to-care plants near your desk.

Points To Remember About Introducing Hot Desks

Hot desks are part of a new way of working where no one member of staff takes ownership of a desk in the workplace. The hot desk provides a space that anyone employed or associated with a company can use to do their work.

Hot desking isn’t right for every business of course. Many business owners prefer their staff to be at the workplace full time occupying a space they can call their own. For others where being office based isn’t essential, hot desks are ideal and will save the expense of renting large office spaces that are only half full.

The main points to remember when introducing hot desks is to discuss this with employees first to make sure they are on board with the idea.
Some people like to have their own space and some permanence in their work arrangements while other staff who are in and out of the office a lot may not be too concerned.

Once introduced, hot desk areas should be kept clean and tidy and staff should be instructed on keeping hot desks clean and tidy. There should also be a booking system where people know when they can use the hot desk in advance.