Hygiene is at the front of everyone’s mind, so is it time to bring back cellular offices? Can they really help reduce the spread of bacteria and sick leave in the office environment?
The open-plan office has been the popular choice for a while as it promotes a more collaborative way of working. It takes away doors and walls and allows staff to obtain feedback on projects quicker from colleagues. However, it puts a lot of people working physically close to each other. We have never been more aware of the importance of space and how germs, bacteria and infections are spread. With this in mind, staff can feel uncomfortable in the wrong environment and businesses could see a dip in productivity.
A cellular office provides boundaries that help reduce the spread of infection. It has also proven to reduce absences due to sickness by up to a quarter. By creating a cellular environment, staff can see a boost in productivity due to a quieter environment. There are fewer distractions, additional privacy and the space is tailored to each team or department’s requirements.
“Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are starting to see a shift in how people want to work,” said Stuart Wall, Lead Designer for commercial interior design and fit out business APSS. “It has been drilled into everyone around the world the importance of hygiene and distance.
“Businesses are looking at how they can amend their office to create distance and a safer environment. One that protects them from harmful bacteria and infections whilst not reducing the ability to collaborate.”
Currently, the advice is to stay around two metres away from each other - the estimated distance droplets from a cough or sneeze can travel. The focus of office layouts will change. There will be fewer rows of desks in an open office environment and more personal working space for staff to operate in.
Stuart explained: “There are some quick and easy solutions to provide this space without losing crucial square footage unnecessarily. By rearranging your office, you can move storage items like cupboards to create a barrier between desks. This will allow for up to two metres between employees.
“Alternatively, if you have less space, you can introduce screens to desks to reduce the spread of germs – almost like a sneeze guard.
“We still need to keep in contact with our customers. This can be done with the installation of video conferencing booths rather than face to face meetings. These are easy to create in a small alcove in your office by using glass partitions. Alternatively, they are available as a stand-alone product.”
Cellular office designs are implemented quickly and efficiently. Glass partition walls provide a good view of the full office and allow maximum natural light to penetrate throughout, whilst still protecting your staff.
“In addition to screens and smaller individual offices, there are special surfaces which have an antibacterial feature which kills germs on contact,” continued Stuart. “This material can be used to create a number of surfaces and storage, including desks. It can help to reduce the spread of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.”
APSS can guide you to finding the best solution for your office space. We have 25 years of experience in creating productive, inspirational and efficient working environments. Get in touch with a member of the APSS team today.
For more information please contact Sarah Barker at APSS on 01522 688 771 or Sarah.Barker@APSS.co.uk
APSS are specialists in commercial interiors, office fit outs, car showroom refurbishments, healthcare interiors and educational interiors.
Since 1997, the company has been helping businesses to refurbish their offices to ensure the best use of space and productivity. The company prides itself on being an approachable and innovative interior fit out specialist with clear pricing and no hidden costs.
Based in Lincoln, within the East Midlands, APSS operates UK wide.