How companies are controlling desk space during COVID-19
May 26, 2020
The restrictions brought in to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a large number of business premises and office buildings being closed for several weeks. This has left many employees working remotely to comply with social distancing measures imposed by the government. The COVID-19 regulations have started to ease and certain businesses are due to return to the workplace over the next few weeks.

Companies planning a return to work have been urged to stay alert and take the necessary precautions to safeguard their employees and minimise the risk of infection. The government has issued the following advice for those returning to offices – “Employees must maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible, including while arriving at and departing from work, while in work, and when travelling between sites.” Managers must adapt their workplace to ensure that they provide a safe working environment for their employees and comply with government guidelines. With this in mind, here are some of the top ways that companies are controlling desk space during COVID-19:

Install a desk management solution

One of the simplest ways to control desk space when you return to the office is by limiting the volume of employees in the workplace. Installing desk management software can help you manage your building occupancy more efficiently and optimise your available office space. Our desk management platform SEDES offers an innovative online booking system where staff can reserve a desk of their choice before arriving in the office. This software can be used to automate desk allocation and ensure that desk space is compliant with the government’s social distancing rules. Allowing employees to book their own workstation also takes the strain off managers and provides them with additional time to focus on core elements of the business.

Continue remote working for some employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that many employees can perform their work tasks efficiently from home. Remote working offers several great benefits to both employers and their employees. In particular, research shows that remote workers are often more productive and engaged in their work tasks. In fact, a recent survey by Gallup found that 54% of employees would leave their job for one that offers more flexible work opportunities. Allowing remote work can also help companies cut their expenses by reducing office overheads. Continuing remote working for some employees is an effective way to manage your desk space and ensure that your company is maintaining the recommended social distances in the workplace. Many modern companies already offer remote working, but it is thought that remote work could become the norm after COVID-19.

Rethink your office floor plan

Naturally, businesses want to optimise their available office space and accommodate as many employees as possible. This has resulted in many businesses adopting open-plan style offices. While open-plan floor plans offer several benefits, including improved employee collaboration and productivity, they may also make it impossible for companies to comply with the recommended social distancing measures. In light of COVID-19, experts recommend that companies should adjust their office floor plans with more consideration for personal space. Ideally, desks should be situated at least two metres apart and stricter cleaning schedules should be enforced to maintain a clean and hygienic working environment.

Summary

COVID-19 regulations are due to be eased over the coming weeks and businesses will gradually be able to return to the workplace. However, it is clear that workspaces will be unable to return to normality immediately. Companies must continue to comply with government guidance and create a strategy that will protect their employees and safeguard against the risk of infection. Effectively controlling desk space is vital and businesses should use the above suggestions to help them plan a safe and efficient return to the office.