The team of architects, interior designers, and graphic designers at SGA are leading the way in re-imagining and re-configuring workspaces to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SGA is assisting clients in preparing their workplaces for phased re-entry through plan and furniture review as well as the integration of key graphics to encourage social distancing and communicate usage, hygiene, and cleaning protocols.
HOW CAN SGA HELP?
Short-Term Planning: The SGA team will help you evaluate how your existing workplace can support a phased re-entry. Potential strategies include floor plan studies to determine social distancing opportunities, furniture modifications such as introducing screening elements, and the introduction of graphics and signage to support and encourage safe space utilization, behavioral and operational protocols.
Long-Term Planning: The SGA team will help you assess long term workplace adjustments that are right for your business via programming and envisioning exercises. We will assist you in determining:
- How might your workplace standards and RSF/per person needs be adjusted going forward?
- Do you anticipate an increase in remote work/distributed workforce?
- Is a satellite office right for you?
- What are the costs associated with short and long term adjustments to the physical space?
- What sort of behaviors, collaboration, and productivity opportunities can your physical office space offer that remote work cannot?
- How can your unique business, brand, and culture be supported both physically and virtually?
Workplace Re-Entry Concepts
1. Vertical Circulation: Encourage the use of stairs whenever possible. Limit elevator occupancy.
2. Reception Area: Introduce thermal screening/temperature checks. Provide PPE to those entering space. Add screening elements at the reception desk. Remove or create distance between reception lounge seating.
3. Conference Rooms: Discontinue or limit access.
If limiting access: remove extra seating in the room.
4. Open Collaboration Areas: Create space between furniture to support social distancing.
5. Restrooms: Post hygiene and cleaning protocols.
6. Kitchen / Pantry: Stagger usage to limit density. Post usage guidelines and protocols. (i.e. One person per table/booth) Remove excess seating.
7. Huddle Rooms: Discontinue or limit access. If limiting access: remove extra seating from the room.
8. Workstation Density | Option 1: Designate A + B teams so employees can alternate attendance. Update seating charts to align with this approach.
9. Workstation Density | Option 2: Remove or block access to a portion of workstations to ensure proper social distancing between occupants. Assign the remaining workstations to two alternating users (one from “A” team and one from “B” team).
10. Copy + Supply Rooms: Consider “order + deliver” process to limit access to these spaces.
11. Graphics + Signage: Incorporate directional arrows to indicate one-way traffic flow. Consider working with a designer to locate and visually distinguish these graphics from code related signage and evacuation plans. Introduce graphics indicating social distancing dimensions.
General: Post signage detailing cleaning and hygiene protocols around the workplace.
How Environmental Graphics Can Help You Return to the Workplace
Environmental graphics can play an important role in educating and reminding people of these important spatial and behavioral changes. SGA can assist in creating signage and wayfinding as a means to help people learn the new “social norms” of the workplace, including dimensional markers indicating proper social distancing as well as directional signage for circulation paths. In addition, we can assist clients in creating a conference room and common area guidelines to support usage, cleaning, and hygiene protocols.
COVID-19 TEMPORARY SIGNAGE EXAMPLES
Boston Real Estate Covid Consortium Task Force
SGA is a member of the Boston Real Estate COVID Consortium, whose members include experts from the project management, construction, commercial real estate brokerage, commissioning, code review, design, environmental engineering, technology, and furniture sectors. Each week the Consortium publishes meaningful, relevant, and timely content as we navigate the short term and long term effects of COVID-19 on real estate. Stay tuned to SGA’s social media channels for updates.
covid-19 impact on student housing
COVID-19 has suddenly forced architects and academic institutions to re-imagine student housing in both in short-term alternative options as well as long-term challenges. Common areas, lobbies, corridors, elevators, lounges, dining and bedroom suites are the most contagious because that is where students congregate. How to make these spaces safe?
At SGA, our academic facilities team has designed and innovative student housing design that includes a small number of single bedrooms with a bathroom throughout the facility called “Safe Rooms” that offer a temporary safe haven for potentially contagious resident. In addition, we have included new material and hardware choices and treatment of surface, enhanced HVAC systems and air quality. In short, we have re-designed space for students and staff and not just for the virus.