This document has been prepared based on a review and compilation of publicly available guidelines developed by leading architectural, office design, building maintenance and commercial real estate firms that closely follow recent recommendations made at the federal, state and local levels in the United States.
It is designed to help organizations that do not have a large in-house facilities management team develop a practical plan to restart the workplace. It is intended to simplify the many, often confusing things you read each day about how to safely reopen your workplace and create an office environment that will allow your workforce to feel comfortable, safe and productive as they return to work.
Following these best practices should help reduce organizational risk but is not guaranteed to prevent the spread of COVID 19. We will regularly update this document as our combined understanding of the virus continues to evolve.
To help you develop a plan to safely reopen your office and maintain a productive workplace that is designed to deal with today’s dynamic return-to-work reality, we created the Social Space Design Best Practice Checklist.
The checklist is broken into three categories:
Sanitization – All organizations will need to introduce new protocols to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, equipment and supplies. Landlords and tenants will both need to install sanitization stations and provide easy access to alcohol-based hand cleansers.
Social Distancing – Most organizations will need to decrease the density of employees at the workplace to allow for 6 feet of social distancing. In some cases, new office layouts will be required for common spaces and retrofit workstation configurations and dividers will be necessary. Directional signage and limiting access points will help maintain social distancing. Face coverings and other PPE will be required in many situations.
Workforce Behavior – Every employee will need to practice new behaviors such as following directional signage, wearing face masks or other PPE, working remotely or coming to the office for a reduced number of days or hours each week. Training will be required for workers and managers to collaborate and work remotely while maintaining team interactions and supporting corporate culture and values.