DBI has developed a simple 5 Point Plan to help facilitate a return to the workplace*. For more guidance on workspace/public space assessments, please contact Leslie Davis(LDavis@DBIA.com or 703.787.0882, ext 128) at DBI.

DENSITY: There are a number of ways to manage density in the workplace. Consider staggered work hours, or alternating days in-office and work-from-home. “Checkerboarding” desking arrangements (keeping every other place vacant and rotating and cleaning between uses) and removal of “guest” seating in offices can create the desired 6-foot radius.

CIRCULATION: Break out of the maze! Your office layout might be designed to create interaction between staff, as they “bump into” each other at pinch points and crossing corridors. For now, it’s best to manage foot traffic in the workplace. Suggestions include one-way hallways, with floor or wall graphics to indicate traffic direction, and re-configuring or spacing furniture to create unimpeded traffic flows.

CLEANING & SANITIZING: Check with your space designer or furniture provider to verify the cleaning requirements of the materials and surfaces used in your desking, other furniture, wall coverings, and flooring. There is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. BOTH are important. Remember that the goal is to help employees, customers, clients, and visitors feel safe — so clean often, during regular business hours, and be visible in the effort.

MANAGING COLLABORATIVE & SHARED SPACES: Breakrooms, pantries, workrooms, conference rooms, and other shared and collaborative spaces pose special problems. It’s recommended to have daily refrigerator clean-outs, and be sure your dishwasher is set to “sanitize.” Remove furniture to create 6-foot zones. Post hours for these spaces, with times of closure, to allow sanitizing. Conference room time should be scheduled, with ample time between meetings for cleaning.

MANAGING PUBLIC SPACES IN THE BUILDING:Public spaces like entries, lobbies, and elevators are central to maintaining a healthy, safe workplace. Suggestions include touchless entry hardware, hand sanitizing kiosks, mask check stations, and visitor/delivery quarantine. Also consider separate entries for employees and visitors. Clean and sanitize often!

* While this plan does not guarantee against infection or spread of Covid-19 or any other illness or disease, this common-sense strategy adheres to best practices from expert sources. It’s meant as guidance, for creating recommended six-foot zones, managing traffic in corridors and hallways to minimize opportunity for collision, and aggressive cleaning and sanitizing, to make sure that the general space is as clean as possible, while demonstrating that health and safety are prioritized.