Designing an Office to Prevent the Spread of Germs
Winter can be a difficult time of year for many different reasons. Reduced daylight and cold temperatures often take a toll on morale, but on top of that, it’s peak cold and flu season. Before the coronavirus pandemic came along, people often dreaded hearing coughs, sniffles, and sneezes from their co-workers because of worries that a bug might be going around the office. Now that we have COVID to worry about on top of cold and flu season, preventing the spread of germs and viruses in the workplace has become more important than ever before.
We’ve all heard about the importance of doing things like regularly washing your hands and staying home if you’re not feeling well. But the design of an office space can also help prevent the spread of germs.
Image: Unsplash / Callum Hill
Antimicrobial Materials & Finishes
One of the most common tips for preventing the spread of germs and bacteria is to increase cleaning frequency. While this is very good and effective advice, another thing to think about is including materials in your office that make it more difficult for germs to thrive in the first place.
Many common office items and fixtures can be purchased with antimicrobial finishes or made with antimicrobial materials, including paint, flooring, sink faucets, upholstery, and door handles. Antimicrobial finishes work by disrupting the processes germs need to stay alive and spread. As you think about finishes and materials for your office, keep in mind that there is a difference between antimicrobial and antibacterial. While antibacterial surfaces help inhibit bacteria, antimicrobial surfaces help protect against a wider range of microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and mold.
Image: Unsplash / National Cancer Institute
Introduce Touch-Free Solutions
Another great way to prevent the spread of germs is to create fewer places where they can potentially be spread. Things like smart technology and motion sensors are creating a lot of options to eliminate the need for people to come in contact with high-touch surfaces like door handles, light switches, and sink faucets. Not only can these types of solutions reduce the chances of germs spreading through contact, they can help make life a little more convenient for everyone in the office.
Allow for Distance & Spacing
One of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of germs at work is to give people a little more room to spread out. Social distancing got a lot of attention in the wake of COVID, but it’s also a good way to prevent other types of illnesses. The simple fact of the matter is that when people are closely grouped together in an enclosed space, the easier it is for germs to spread from one person to another. Spreading out workstations can help minimize people coming in close contact with each other while they work.
Need help designing a workplace that helps support wellness in the workplace? Premier Construction & Design has experience designing commercial spaces for a wide range of industries throughout Metro Detroit. Be sure to check out our portfolio and case studies to see examples of some projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready to get started, contact us so that we can learn more about your project.
Featured Image: towifqu barbhuiya / Unsplash