The modern corporate office, particularly at tech companies, is renowned for open, collaborative workspaces, in-house coffee bars and standing desks with room for two giant computer monitors. Soon, there will be a new must-have perk: the sneeze guard.
These STAY SAFE PERSPEX SCREENS – currently being produced by Cecil Nurse Manufacturing in Cape Town – can be mounted on any desk and are one of many ideas being considered by employers as they contemplate a return to the workplace after coronavirus lockdowns.
Some post-pandemic makeovers may even include hand sanitisers built into desks, or workstations that are enclosed by translucent plastic partitions; air filters that push air down and not up; outdoor gathering space to allow collaboration without viral transmission; and windows that actually open, for freer airflow.
A conversation about how to reconfigure the office is taking place throughout the business world, from small start-ups to giant corporations.
However, there is no one size fits all solution in this regard and research also shows that one of the best ways to prevent transmission has nothing to do with furniture or layout even though protective measures and distancing does help; slowing the spread comes from letting potentially sick workers stay home with pay so they don’t feel pressured to come into work. Keeping contagious people at home can reduce transmission numbers by as much as a third.
Another basic step to lower risk is having fewer people in a space at any given time. That is a concept that runs counter to the workplace trend of the past two decades. For now, however, that may mean no more shared desks, elbow-to-elbow seating or cafes where people congregate to chat about a project over a coffee or a snack. It’s less about fun and more about safety.
Some companies have begun mentioning a return to one of history’s more derided office-design concepts: the cubicle. There is talk also of the cubicle’s see-through cousin, known as the sneeze guard.
Cough and sneeze protection screens – manufactured by Cecil Nurse under the name STAY SAFE Office Screens – decrease person-to-person contact, enforce social distancing and come in a number of options to fit your current furniture, your personal style and health requirements. These guards already have a home in banks, pharmacies, and supermarkets, but they are getting a new push into the corporate office space.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.cecilnurse.co.za