Cubicles Make a Serious Comeback During the Coronavirus Crisis

In recent years, there’s been a marked shift in the way office environments operate, most notably in the seating arrangements.  Where rows of cubicles once allowed companies to provide a large staff with relatively private space to work, without the cost of building out individual offices, more recent layouts have included a more open and collaborative workspace, devoid of dividers, or with only minimal division.

While such seating arrangements have allowed for the implementation of team work stations and easier collaboration, an argument could be made that this strategy makes it more difficult for individual employees to focus, and creates an environment where employees may feel like they’re under constant scrutiny.  That said, it looks like a new shift is underway, due to COVID-19.  What can companies and workers expect?

Social Distancing

First and foremost, companies wishing to bring employees back from forced remote operations will have to comply with guidelines for social distancing, which means creating a minimum six feet of distance between each employee.  This will definitely eliminate shared workspaces like groups of desks facing each other that have gained popularity over the last few years.

It will also likely limit the number of employees that can be housed in any given space at one time.  For businesses that don’t want to spend the money to expand square footage in order to accommodate their work force, this could mean allowing some employees to remain in the remote workforce, or alternately, create an A/B schedule for different groups of employees to come to the office on alternating days, for example.

Cubicle Dividers

Even with socially distanced desks, it’s worrisome to have a large group of employees working in an open space.  For this reason, cubicle dividers or safety screens of some sort are likely to be implemented.

According to a study conducted by Florida Atlantic University, when a person coughs without covering the mouth, the airborne droplets can travel more than 8 feet, well beyond the 6-foot social distancing recommendations.  This distance was reduced to just over 3.5 feet with a bandana and only 2.5 inches with a quilted cotton mask.

For companies that don’t intend to enforce mask-wearing in the office environment, this obviously poses a serious risk of disease spread.  One obvious way to minimize risks is to place cubicle walls or other suitable barriers around individual work spaces.

Other Precautions

In addition to creating new layouts, businesses will also have to implement new health and safety policies and procedures, such as mandatory masks and increased office cleaning and sanitization.  You may have to improve ventilation, add sanitizing stations, and provide employees with individual use items to cut down on high-touch surfaces.

With proper social distancing, isolated work spaces, and proper sanitization and other considerations, you have the best opportunity to create a safe and healthy office environment for employees and clients.

 

Let us take care of your office needs with a Professional Consultation

Take full advantage of your workspace by consulting with our team. When you schedule a free design consultation, one of our staff members visits your location to assess your available space and help you design a floor plan for your new office furniture that meets all your functional and stylistic needs.

Schedule a Professional Consultation

Delivery/Installation

Fast delivery and installation services are available at affordable prices. Our team can quickly and safely assemble your newly purchased furnishings to your exact specifications. Your ultimate satisfaction is important to Office Furniture Direct, so please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Service Area

Since opening for business more than 15 years ago, Office Furniture Direct has sold and installed furniture for small, medium, and large businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Call us at (503) 546-1546 to see how we can service you.

Service & Hours

HOURS
Mon-Fri: 9am – 5pm
Saturday/Sunday: Closed

Office Design & Space Planning Consultations:
By Appointment M-F
Schedule Here
Or Call (503) 546-1546

 

View Our Resource Blog

Read Our Reviews
OUR REVIEWS

Showroom

Our Showroom is open by appointment only for the safety of our community but we are open for business. Orders can be placed over the phone. Please browse our website and online catalog. We can offer delivery and set up/installation or arrange for socially distant pick up.

Showroom & Warehouse:
2730 NE Riverside Way
Portland, OR 97211
View Map

SALES & SERVICE

Phone: (503) 546-1546
Toll Free: 888-236-8389

Fax: (503) 246-4422

View Our Resource Blog

Read Our Reviews
OUR REVIEWS

HBC Catalog

HBC Catalog

We are a large commercial office furniture company and our prices are often well below the list price in the hbc catalog. Typically our price is around 30-35% off catalog prices, with delivery and installation included within our local service area. For exact pricing and to place an order, call us at 503-546-1546.

View hbc catalog

© 2018 Office Furniture Direct. All Rights Reserved.