Redesigning the Office to Overcome Covid-19

Starting July 2021, it turns out that we are faced with a continuous increase in the Covid-19 numbers. For more than a year, Indonesia is at war with the pandemic. Most offices have already implemented WFH (Work from Home) except for some essential public services office.

Covid-19 brought changes in many aspects in our lives, including the redesigning of office spaces due to distancing requirements. For offices that do not allow staff to work from home, it is necessary to change the design of the office so as to incorporate safety at work.

Office design by Abbasource

A Nediari, C. Roesli, and P. M Simanjuntak from the Interior Design Department, School of Design, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta via iopscience.iop.org released a paper outlining the preparation of office design concepts during the pandemic so that office staff can go safely to work. This design concept can also be applied to offices that are forced to open during the Covid-19 era. Here are some recommendations that can be applied to the office:

Six feet office setup

Seating arrangements should be at least 2m (6ft) apart and in a zigzag position (not facing each other). Or if the place doesn’t allow for zigzagging, you can sit in a line but the position has to be back to back.

The corridor should be wider

Create wider access/corridors, if possible, make it one-way so as to minimize staff passing each other. This is also adjusted according to the density of access areas.

Cleaning services 

Cleaning services become extremely important and necessary during Covid-19, cleaning services. The cleaning service employed has to increase frequency of cleaning more than the usual standard.  And alcohol/disinfectant has to be used especially around the parts/surfaces that the office staff touches.

Remote control system (remote system)

Whenever possible, offices should invest in remote control systems for things that many people will touch or come in contact with. For example, automating a door or doors that are frequently accessed so that staff would not use their hands to open the door/doors.

Air circulation 

Good air circulation is necessary to create a healthy office. When using air conditioning, it is necessary to pay attention to good air circulation so that it reduces exposure to viruses in the enclosed room.

Choose an anti-microbial material 

Choose such materials to coat walls or countertops. There are many products available in the market for paints and antimicrobial coatings. Maybe not all can kill 100% of the microbes or viruses, but at least it can suppress the spread of the germs.

Offices in an open space 

This is the best choice, if it is possible to have an office in an open space. Air circulation and abundant sunlight will suppress the development of viruses and microbes.

Reducing staff capacity 

If the office is not spacious, then management should implement a replacement system. Maybe 50% in the office, 50% WFH, thereby reducing the density in the office.

Hope this article inspires everyone especially the spirit to continue to be creative in this pandemic era.

Office design by Abbasource
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