Don’t stand so close to me

OFFICE WORKING and social distancing really do not mix. The reason why offices exist is to bring colleagues together so they can collaborate. So when employees start to return as pandemic-related restrictions are lifted, they will face a host of challenges.

Start with the basics: getting into the building. In most offices a lot of people tend to leave and arrive at the same time. Keeping them six feet (two metres) apart as they enter may require a queue in the street. Many workers will want to avoid public transport until the pandemic fades from memory, so may cycle to work. But even where offices have changing rooms, they tend to be fairly cramped; hard to keep employees apart.

Lifts are an even bigger choke-point. In normal circumstances people who work in high-rises are accustomed to a long wait to reach the top floors. If lifts can only carry two or three people at a time, that wait would lengthen. And imagine the hassle if a group of visitors arrives at once.

When workers make it to their desks, there is another problem. In recent years offices have been increasing density. The space per workstation in Britain decreased by around a quarter in the decade to 2018, according to Jon Neale of JLL, a property consultancy. But social-distancing rules may drastically reduce the number of people offices can...

via Business Feeds

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