Awfis, Workspace Design, Workspace design for the new normal, Amit Ramani, Indian Workspace Association, Office design tips, Smart Offices, COVID-19 regulations for offices

Designing your workspace for the new normal world

Amit Ramani, founder & CEO, Awfis, and VP, Indian Workspace Association, offers some tips

The rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus has introduced a new twist to the way we work and collaborate. Among many factors associated with return to work policies, the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the importance of flexible work practices and hygiene at the workplace like never before.

With the relaxation of lockdown rules, it is crucial to see how organisations will keep their employees safe as they begin to transition back by incorporating the following at their brick and mortar offices:
1. Physical distancing
2. Enhanced sanitation
3. Contactless operations and management

Some of the changes that are being considered by companies are:

Smart offices
Many companies have adopted the smart office concept. However, there is still a need for technical reinforcement in all organisations that will streamline interactions between team members and employers at large. AI-operated administration operations like HVAC are more likely to hasten the existing technical infrastructure, which will promote low touch and high impact.

Intentional space builders and open floor plans
Offices are a hub for collaboration and it is difficult for social distancing norms to come through at all times. Offices cannot stop engagement, but they can create segregation among workspaces by creating open floor plans and placing smaller couches among other elements.

Space builders are bound to work best if the process of de-densification is upheld. This can be achieved by creating work shifts for the entire office.

Healthy and green interiors
In addition to their aesthetic appeal, natural greenery in the workspace can also clean and filter the air naturally. This scores a point in favour of indoor landscaping, especially during the virus scare.

Adaptable and futuristic furniture
Mobile furniture epitomises flexible workspaces as they can adapt to any change in floor plans to accommodate the new COVID-19 regulations. For example, a microfibre sofa that can quickly be disinfected and used again after a simple wipe-down.

The pandemic is a rather new situation that workspaces are finding themselves in. In the coming months, we will see new workspace design and concepts to accommodate the new regulations, without hampering the collaborative spirit of workspaces.

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