The social distancing in office spaces after COVID-19 involves an immediate action strategy to adapt to the new workplace normality, which is why the real estate consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Echinox has formed a multidisciplinary team to help employers prepare for the gradual return of their employees in office spaces.
With a new design concept and strict social distancing measures, the company’s consultants have prepared a set of measures for tenants and landlords, based on both Cushman & Wakefield experience in China, which manages the safe return at work for more than 10,000 companies with almost one million employees in over 1,000 buildings, as well as on the “6 Feet Office” international concept, developed by the Netherlands team.
The measures include an integrated package of consulting services to evaluate and improve the working conditions and include a detailed technical analysis, a study on the needs and expectations of employees and a plan of measures and recommendations on workspace optimization.
“We apply our international experience, so that clients are well prepared to return to work. In order to restart businesses in a safe and efficient work environment, the rules must be integrated into daily life and the ground must be prepared for the return of employees, by applying the architects and project managers’ experience in areas such as innovation and work strategy, design and construction, facility management, commercial cleaning protocols, research and technology,” says Andrei Ianculescu, Head of Project Management Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
“Before the situation generated by Covid-19, almost 400,000 people worked in modern office buildings in Bucharest and the major cities, representing about 10 percent of the private sector employees. For the gradual restart of the business and the return to offices, it is essential that employers provide their employees with the security and comfort of an environment as safe as possible so it doesn’t affect their creativity and productivity. Thus, we consider it mandatory to have both the workspace and the employees and companies’ analysis, because these have significantly changed in the recent weeks,” says Cristi Moga, Head of Research Cushman & Wakefield Echinox.
The five steps recommended by the Cushman & Wakefield Echinox team are as follows:
- An analysis carried out among the management teams through a questionnaire or focus group to identify the business needs regarding the necessary space for their activity. The online personalized questionnaire evaluates the employees’ preferences and needs in terms of office space and teleworking conditions and the results are corelated and used to project the necessity and configuration of office space;
- The technical analysis of the office space and common areas of the building, providing solutions for the owner includes: analysis of the existing HVAC system and access roads, definition of potential contamination of areas, air cleaning proposed solutions, evaluation of office space and identification of areas where contamination risks can be reduced, protocols for safety and health controls;
- Solutions for optimizing and socially distancing the work space through a new layout plan that translates the innovative ways of working in an efficient office space, by optimizing the employees’ density, establishing travel routes, proposing panels between desks, visitor policies, budgeting for the implementation of solutions, etc.;
- Cleaning and disinfection solutions – guidance for the maintenance team regarding the current global requirements to increase quality and reduce the risk of contamination by reducing the touchpoints.
- Project management and implementation of approved measures services.