Post-Virus Office Renovations

Retrofitting a Commercial Office for a Post-Virus World

Before employees can return to work after a virus outbreak, employers need to retrofit their commercial office with measures that slow the spread of germs and protect the health and safety of their workforce. The post-virus world is forcing businesses to rethink their entire office space, from sanitation protocols to anti-microbial finishes to ways to reduce employee-to-employee contact.

Max Tripodi, a licensed general contractor, is helping business owners retrofit their commercial office to keep employees safe in the post-virus world. Max can help business owners fully retrofit their office to incorporate a variety of office safety upgrades, including:

  • Physical distancing upgrades
  • Design-driven visual cues to make physical distancing more achievable
  • Ways to incorporate smart technology and handsfree automation
  • Upgrades to health and safety protocols

Below is a breakdown of these priority areas and insight as to how businesses can incorporate critical health and safety upgrades into their commercial office retrofit plan.


READ MORE: ANTIMICROBIAL PRODUCTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS PREMISES


Physical Distancing Upgrades

Physical distancing will be the biggest challenge in the post-virus workplace. At a minimum, an office retrofit needs to tackle these physical distancing upgrades.

Employee Desks

Employees need to physically distance themselves from one another yet still interact to get work done. The layout of employee desks needs to be carefully considered to optimize physical distancing efforts. Consider these three desk modifications.

  • Place each desk at least six feet apart
  • Install plexiglass dividers at each desk
  • Replace small or common area desks for larger, individual work stations

Single-Person Bathrooms

One of the biggest ways to create a safe workplace is to convert restrooms to single-person bathrooms. Individual bathrooms are the only way to control physical distancing in the restroom and the germs that a restroom can harbor.

Common Areas

The office breakroom, lunchroom or any other common area should be rethought in a post-virus retrofit. The open space can be retrofitted for additional physically-distanced workspaces. If you’re retrofitting a lunchroom, consider replacing large common tables with single-seat tables.

Visual Cues

Employers need to find ways to make physical distancing easy and natural if it’s going to be effective. Incorporating visual design cues is a great way to help employees work while maintaining a safe distance.

Flooring

Commercial flooring is a powerful tool when encouraging physical distancing. Use various types of commercial carpeting, hardwoods, tile, and other flooring to demonstrate how far apart employees need to be at all times. Examples include:

  • Color-coded carpet circles around a desk that extend six feet in all directions
  • Tile floor layouts that use alternating colors or patterns to create left and right walking lanes down a hallway

Office Layout

In order to implement physical distancing measures that stick, owners need to reconfigure their office layout to make it easier for people to maintain a safe distance at all times. Examples include:

  • Widen narrow hallways
  • Install partition walls to divert busy foot traffic areas
  • Separate walking areas with dividers, creating natural left and right lanes for walkers
  • Add square footage with an office built-out to allow for more controlled physical distancing

Handsfree Technology

Employees returning to work will no longer feel comfortable pressing elevator buttons, opening doorways, or manually flushing toilets. In the post-virus office, smart technology, voice-activated capabilities, and other automation tools will become the standard. Handsfree upgrades should be considered throughout your entire office.

Focus office automation on areas like restrooms, entryways and internal doors as well as general lighting.

Restrooms

The post-virus office restroom will be completely handsfree. Consider these handsfree restroom upgrades.

  • Automatic flush toilets
  • Handsfree soap dispensers
  • Motion-sensor faucets
  • Automatic hand towel dispensers
  • Voice-activated restroom door locks
  • Automatic light fixtures

Entryways

Every entryway should include, at a minimum, automated opening and closing features. Good options are motion-sensor doorways, voice-activated bolt locks, and doorways that stay open for 3-5 seconds after someone walks through to discourage holding doors for others.

Internal Doors

The best option when retrofitting internal doors for the post-virus office is to either automate them or remove them altogether. Also, consider using automated technology for restroom doors, refrigerator handles, filing cabinet handles, and other areas where removing the door is not an option.

Lighting

Post-virus office lighting should also be completely handsfree. Motion-sensor room lights, voice-activated lights or other integrated smart lighting systems are available to easily reduce surface contact throughout the office.

Health and Safety Protocols

Designing and building the post-virus office requires employers to completely rethink their approach to office hygiene. Focus health and safety protocols in the areas where employees spend the most time, like desks, restrooms, meeting rooms, and common areas.

Hand Sanitation

The post-virus office should provide an abundance of opportunities for employees to wash their hands. These upgrades will become the new workplace standards in just about every office.

  • Handsfree hand washing sinks in every room and down every hallway
  • Hand sanitizer stations throughout the office, including at every desk
  • Multiple hand washing stations at the office entrance, requiring employees and guests to wash their hands when they arrive.

Anti-Microbial Furniture and Hardware

Invest in office furniture and hardware with anti-microbial coatings and finishes that reduce the spread of viruses. With many viruses able to live on surfaces for days, retrofitting for a post-virus office means every desk, chair, reception desk, conference table, and door handle needs to be upgraded.

Commercial Office Retrofits in South Florida

To learn more about how Max Tripodi and RCA Contractors can work with you through your post-virus office renovation, contact him at (954) 931-6688. He’s happy to take your call and answer your questions.

Max is a Florida General Contractor with over 30-years of experience in commercial renovations and office build-outs. He’ll work hard to make your post-virus renovation easy for you and your team.