10 Conversations Every Business Needs To Have About Their Spaces

You’ve seen a lot of stories on COVID and the workplace in your feed. You’re probably wondering, how many of them do I actually need to read? Here’s the good news. We read them so you don’t have to.

Our team has been pouring over white papers, think pieces, and panel discussions to hear what people have to say. We’ve been listening.  And when you listen, there are some things that start to stand out.

To save you some time, we’ve taken that information and made a list of the Top 10 conversations you should be having about your space. These are conversations that are going to affect your people and your bottom line.

And let’s be clear, this isn’t really about building a return-to-work strategy. People have been out there working this whole time. It’s not a return. It’s re-integration. Or as one of our team members called it, a reunion. We like that a lot. This is a time to re-connect and remember why we do what we do. And why the people we do it with are so important.

1. RESILIENT SPACE

Bottom line, we need to start making spaces that are resilient all the time. Not just during a crisis. It’s the 21st century. Figure out what you need right now. But be ready for the waves of change that are bound to come. Because statistics show that the second wave of COVID is going to be even bigger than the first. Interior construction has all the tools it needs to be proactive instead of reactive.

2. DISTRIBUTED WORKPLACE

Because of the pandemic, we’re finding new ways to manage productivity and personal boundaries. How close can our teams be to each other? This isn’t just about guidelines from the Center for Disease Control. It’s about making your people comfortable so they can drive business. Find out what they want. Provide them a space where they don’t have to worry so they can focus on what they do best.

3. DESIGN CROSSOVER

Now, personal comfort is about safety and less about convenience. Companies need to limit the spread of infection, but still be a place where people want to work. Hospitals have field-tested this problem for years. Now we can apply that knowledge of healthcare design to any shared space. This means you can create a healthy, highly controlled environment outside of a hospital.

4. MATERIALITY

Want to be safe? Don’t. Touch. Anything. Impossible. That’s why workspaces need to be safe to touch and easy to disinfect. Get rid of all the nooks and crannies where germs can hide. Use materials with anti-bacterial properties. Choose wisely and you don’t have to compromise aesthetics for safety.

5. PHYSICAL + MENTAL HEALTH

Most of us have never lived through a time that has put such a collective strain on our physical and mental health. People can’t do anything if they don’t feel safe. And work is a part of that. As we reimagine what workplaces look like, we have a chance to build trust with our people. Respect them by keeping in constant communication.

 

6. NEW PROTOCOLS

How people behave is the number one factor in managing the spread of disease. Welcome to the six-foot office. Keep your distance, create a safe path through the environment and reduce transmission. New offices need more hygiene safeguards and less interaction points. We all have to design with that in mind to manage spaces and communities.

7. TOUCH-FREE

These days, the idea of a touch-free workspace sounds pretty great. Now is the time to figure out what touch-free means to you. Is it motion sensors? Pressure sensors? Voice control? A combo of all three? It might even be something that hasn’t been developed yet. Be ready for it.

 

8. TECH INFRASTRUCTURE

Even with a green light to go back to the office, not everyone is going to return. Workspaces have to support people wherever their desks are. Integrated technology is the relationship builder that brings people together whether they’re in the office or at home. To get the best from your team you have to make that connection as seamless as possible.

9. TECH APPLICATIONS

If you want people in your space, you need to prove its safe to be there. Building owners will use tech to monitor spaces and deliver data to the people who use it. Air quality levels. Cleaning schedules. Usable areas. People are expecting this information to decide where they’re comfortable going.  You have to be ready to provide it.

10. AIR QUALITY

Everyone hates wearing a mask, but a lot of people don’t feel safe without one. That’s why air filtration is the key to making people breathe easy in every sense. Accommodating airflow and HVAC systems fit into the design of the built environment is non-negotiable. Air quality is now table stakes.

This conversation is just beginning

The next few months are going to be a challenge, but it can also lead to wonderful discoveries. Talk to your people and find out what they need. Then unlock the potential of your building. Build something better. Contact our digg team today!

This article was originally posted on DIRTT.com