7 out of 10 Romanian employees want to continue to work mostly from home even after easing the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus and after the state of emergency ends. Out of these, 60% believe that working remotely would be useful at least 1-2 days a week, and 10% would like to work even 3-4 days from home in the next period.
"Social distancing could be maintained for longer periods, which can mean a larger-scale mix of work in the office and from home. Adaptation and rapid action are the key words these days, but concern for people's health and business is also essential. From the beginning of the pandemic, at Colliers we started this process with a clear thing in mind, that we must act immediately, with innovative solutions, taking into account that the owners and tenants of office buildings need to recalibrate services during this period, but also further", says Andrei Voica, Director Project Management and Workplace Consultancy, Office Advisory at Colliers International.
To ensure employees' social distance within the office, employers need to consider some changes in the set-up of the space and furniture, especially in the case of open space offices. It is necessary to ensure a recommended distance of two linear meters between employees, which means that it will be necessary to increase the space allocated per employee from 8 square meters, which is currently the average in class A office buildings, at over 15 square meters per employee.
New security measures in office buildings
Measures that can be implemented by companies to prepare their offices for the return of employees include rotating offices from open spaces so that they do not face each other and directing the team to alternative office work areas. At the same time, temporary transparent plastic barriers can be installed in the reception areas to separate visitors from the reception desk, and high partitions can be installed in the offices between facing desks.
To reduce touching door handles, the doors of offices and conference rooms should be left open, unless there is an absolute need for privacy. There should also be signs in office buildings informing visitors about the distance rules, hand washing and sanitizing or wearing masks in public areas. Using signage, unique clockwise paths can be created through the space, and by adding arrow tape on the office floor, the recommended direction can be indicated.
”Once back at the office, employees will have to get used to all these new hygiene and safety rules, which will most likely stay in place for longer periods. We estimate that all medium and large buildings will have to implement a rigorous set of measures that we recommend during this period. These are new traffic rules with lifts and stairs, as well as access to designated lunch areas or the minimum level of protective equipment required to access the building. Depending on the risk criteria, tenants can be greeted by disinfection gates, thermal imaging cameras for temperature measurement or mats impregnated with disinfectant solution for each access path”, says Alexandru Atanasiu, Associate Director, Real Estate Management Services at Colliers International.