New requirements

More safety in the office in Corona times

In view of the current pandemic, many companies are faced with the question of how to make their offices Corona compliant. Safety and protection of employees in the workplace are taking on a new quality with the current development. Regulations on distance and hygiene require a rethink of the previous working environment. But what measures and solutions are recommended and how can they be adapted to the specific office environment?

Oct 29 2020

Desire for improved hygiene 

After weeks of working from home, many workers have returned to the office. According to a Forsa survey commissioned by the Industrieverband Büro und Arbeitswelt (IBA) in June 2020, half of them would like to see improved hygiene regulations and equipment in the workplace. With distance rules, infection prevention and easy-to-clean equipment, employees feel much more comfortable. 

New standards for occupational health and safety 

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, all employers in Germany must guarantee the safety and health of their employees. The German government has also recommended additional standards to protect employees from the corona virus. These were concretised in August 2020 with an occupational health and safety rule that includes, among other things, the design of workplaces. The recommendations could be summarised as "Ventilate well and keep your distance".

Antimicrobial material MicroSilver BG™ for office chairs from Dauphin © Dauphin HumanDesign® Group

Coordination of necessary steps 

With corona screening, employers should first of all examine all office areas for possible infection risks. Where do people work together in confined spaces? How can this be changed? Is there a way to improve ventilation? A pandemic plan helps to coordinate necessary steps.

Concrete measures can then be, for example, modified room concepts or a new office organisation to extend working areas and maintain distances.

Plexiglas separator Bob 19 from Blå Station © Blå Station AB

Materials and furniture for safe working 

Shift and activity plans can also help with social distancing, which are used to record and control office processes. Media technology has long proven its worth in avoiding physical meetings and business trips. Protective screens, room dividers and other barriers provide distance between workstations.

Cleaning and disinfection also play a major role in furniture. Materials such as glass and plastic foils as well as handleless furniture offer surfaces that are easy to clean, thus improving hygiene. New materials for office furniture with antimicrobial effects also have a preventive effect against infection. 

Studio furniture group for the

Prevention with CO2 traffic lights 

To ensure greater safety in the office, the use of CO2 traffic lights is also often recommended. Compared to other measuring devices, they are easy to use and relatively inexpensive. As an aid to corona prevention, they measure aerosols in the air and give an alarm if the concentration is too high.

The principle is simple: a lot of exhaled CO2 also means a lot of aerosols in the room air. To prevent the risk of infection from increasing, yellow and red CO2 indicators warn when CO2 levels rise.  

New products for the "New Normal 

The corona pandemic has changed both the world of work and the awareness of hygiene in a lasting way. As in many other areas of everyday life, protective measures against the virus will be necessary in the long term.

Manufacturers of office furniture and room systems have adapted to the "New Normal" and offer new products and solutions for safe workplaces. This will not only significantly improve protection in offices, but also the well-being of those working there.

Author: Broekman+Partner

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