Guide to getting an office ready for a return to work

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on businesses in all corners of the world, resulting in many having to close their doors and ask their staff to work from home. However, as the business world continues to adjust to the challenges that come hand in hand with the pandemic, many companies are starting to welcome employees back into the workplace.

Employers have never faced a challenge like coronavirus before and, although the Government is currently advising those that can work from home continue to do so, many businesses are opening their office doors once again.

However, all businesses must comply with stringent Covid-secure workplace guidance in order to actively safeguard the health and wellbeing of their workforces. After all, office safety should be the number one priority when it comes to facilitating any transition from home to work during the pandemic.

If you’re in the midst of planning a return to the office, you’ve certainly landed in the right place. We’ve created a helpful guide outlining everything that you need to know about getting your office ready for a return to work. 

Risk assessments and health and safety measures

First and foremost, before you invite your workforce back into any office environment, it’s paramount that you carry out a risk assessment and implement any health and safety measures with immediate effect. Your number one priority should be to safeguard your employees, whilst minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

All assessments should be completed in line with up-to-date government and public health guidance.

Collaborate with your health and safety and occupational health teams

As the pandemic continues to dominate all aspects of our lives, and with things changing daily, it’s crucial to take the time to communicate regularly with your health and safety teams, as well as any occupational health teams.

All teams should be up to date with the latest guidance, rules and procedures surrounding Covid-19 and no stone should be left unturned when it comes to ensuring that employee safety is put first. 

Are your staff a safe difference from each other?

We have all been encouraged to socially distance since the beginning of the pandemic and this should be enforced in any workplace environment as the world continues to fight the virus.

With this in mind, it might be the case that you need to invest in new office furniture such as meeting pods, desks, and seating solutions that allow your employees to work and socialise in line with social distancing guidance. Here at BT Office Furniture, we have a whole host of modern furniture solutions that will allow you to transform your office in line with social distancing guidelines including desks, office pods, office screens, desk dividers, seating and space planning solutions.

All members of staff should remain a safe distance from another, whether they are working at their desks, in meetings or in other communal areas of the office. At the same time, teams should be as small as possible, working hours should be staggered, and communal areas should be limited to a certain number of people at any one time.

Space planning solutions

If you have had to adapt your office to meet new social distancing rules but are struggling to make the most of your available space, look no further than BT Office space planning solutions.

BT Office Furniture has its own in-house office design department with fully trained 2D space planners and 3D visual artists. We have vast experienced in planning a wide range of different office spaces in line with your design needs and budget.

Floor standing office partitions

A great way to divide up a space and encourage social distancing is to utilise floor standing office partitions. Available in lots of different colours and styles, these partitions can create flexible rooms that can be adapted to your needs.

Floor standing office screens are available in fabric, wood and glass and can be linked together to a required size and moved around easily.

Take a look at our Covid protection screens, designed to protect workers in the office.

Curved red divider screens for an office

Handwashing and providing hand sanitiser

Employee hygiene should continue to be a strong focus in the office, with all staff advised to wash their hands as frequently as possible and of course, to use hand sanitiser. These hygiene measures are essential when it comes to preventing the spread of the virus.

Hand sanitiser should be easily accessible in all areas of the workplace, especially at workstations.

A deep clean

If your office has been closed throughout the pandemic, it’s a good idea to invest in a professional deep clean before you welcome back your workforce. This is also a great opportunity to assess your cleaning arrangements and make sure that they up to scratch and of course, in line with Covid guidance.

Good ventilation

Finally, if you haven’t already done so, it’s worthwhile in investing in improving the ventilation of your office. This has been proven to help prevent the spread of the virus. Ventilation not only improves air quality, but it also creates a cool, comfortable and inviting workspace.

Boost staff morale

Remember, these are uncertain times for everyone and it’s important that the health and wellbeing of your workforce is a number one priority. With this in mind, you should focus on boosting morale through reward and recognition schemes and regular contact with your teams that are working remotely. You should also have frequent contact with those who are still furloughed.

Learn more about workplace health tips by reading our article 6 ways to make your office more healthy.

Why choose BT Office furniture?

BT Office has been a leading UK office furniture supplier since 1994. We use our own fleet of vehicles and team of specialist fitters to ensure your modern and executive office furniture arrives undamaged and is installed by people who are familiar with the products.

We offer an extensive range of functional and competitively priced office furniture that offers businesses great functionality without compromising on style. We have furnished offices of all shapes and sizes and can accommodate as many people as needed.

So, if you’re looking to revamp your office or invest in new furniture for social distancing purposes, check out our full range of furniture today.