- As the US starts to reopen, businesses are making plans to return employees to the office safely.
- With GIFs created exclusively for Business Insider, software developer Robin is illustrating how a socially-distanced office will look as companies plan to reopen.
- The GIFs outline a digital floor plan that details just how new setups will operate while employees keep their distance.
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As the US starts to reopen, more employers are making plans for how their staff can return to work.
But the post-pandemic office won’t look the same, and many organizations will have to adapt to social-distancing guidelines for the foreseeable future. For companies with limited space and high volumes of staff, the challenges of reopening the office may be tougher than expected — especially as coronavirus cases continue to climb across the country and threats of a second wave loom over the coming months.
That said, Robin — a Boston-based software developer specializing in office tech — is meeting those challenges head on, envisioning just how the return to the workplace will look. And they’re doing it with GIFs.
Designed exclusively for Business Insider, the GIFs illustrate a model of the post-pandemic workplace, where social distancing and sanitation stations are key to keeping employees safe.
“It’s easier to see the changes happening gradually over time with a GIF versus just before-and-after images,” said Sam Dunn, Robin’s cofounder.
The demand Robin has experienced in recent months has largely been for distance planning, Dunn added. As clients seek out his company’s desk management tools to map out a cleaner new-age office, Dunn said that what will stay top of mind through the fall is office contact tracing and consistent, cyclical meeting room sanitation.
“People are realizing that floor pans will be less dense,” Dunn said. “They won’t be bringing in the whole department. They’ll be rallying certain teams.”
That being said, offices won’t look familiar for some time. But with these new digital plans, your next trip to the office might be a little easier to visualize.
A reimagined desk configuration
Employees who once sat an arm’s length apart are now scattered throughout the floor. No two employees sit in the same row of computers, and only one is assigned to a round table. A nearby sanitation station is stocked with hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and disposable masks.
A new conference room
Meetings will be largely held over Zoom. Two to three employees will be called into the physical workspace, while the bulk of other meeting participants dial in from home, keeping employee office traffic to a minimum.
A reimagined office floor plan
Employees are led to be more mindful of their steps.
New pathways and seating arrangements in highly trafficked areas of the office will give way to less contact between employees and less risk of exposure.
Another interpretation of the reimagined desk seating
Where eight employees once sat, two now sit at opposite ends of the table. A shared office lounge area is taken out of use completely so as to decrease contact potential, and a sanitation station is close by.
The new office lobby
A reconfigured elevator bank system and out-of-use waiting area reduces an employee’s potential infection from a highly trafficked visitor area. It will be important to keep the air space around entry points like elevator banks as clean as possible by reducing the number of people close to their entry points.