We understand the challenges that everyone is facing with COVID-19, but we’re committed to serving our customers and will be available online for any question or concern you may have. The Red Thread team is ready to react, respond to, or relieve any stresses you might be facing with your order and/or project. Although we recognize this situation will continue to evolve over the coming weeks, we’ll remain available and continue our transparency throughout. As always, thank you for being part of our Red Thread family.
Navigating through the decision-making process of returning to the workplace is very challenging. We believe that people, space and technology need to work together. This framework will help you develop your Workplace Re-Entry Program with employee safety, well-being, and trust as the top priority.
Returning to the workplace after COVID-19 will be like reopening the economy. It will happen in waves and it will be stressful for both organizations and workers. It’s impossible to predict what may happen next.
As we work with leading organizations and experts, we recognize the importance of looking at the return to work across the time horizons of now, near and far. For many organizations this will happen in waves and differ across geographies, as they bring segments of their workforce safely back into the office. Accommodating social distancing in the workplace will demand a number of changes throughout the floor plan in phases.
This will be the first wave, with portions of the workforce continuing to work from home. Planning for now also means retrofitting the workplace, based on a common-sense approach that adheres to governmental and global health return to work guidelines, including social distancing, adding barriers, cleaning and safety measures.
At this stage, organizations may be ready to bring back most or all of their workforce. Building on what we learn from our experiences and science, organizations can begin reconfiguring the workplace. This will involve new ways to lay out space and change work settings to offer longer-term solutions for enhanced safety.
Key principles for these firsttwo stages will be to focuson:
density of the workplace and its population
geometry of the furniture arrangements
division using screens, panels, demountable walls or other barriers
Work environments in the future will require reinvention as science-based evidence and emerging technologies offer new solutions. Planning paradigms of the past were driven by density and cost.
Going forward they need to be based on the ability to adapt easily to possible economic, climate and health disruptions. The reinvented office must be designed with an even deeper commitment to the well-being of people, recognizing that their physical, cognitive and emotional states are inherently linked to their safety.
Returning to work after COVID-19 demands a rethinking of the workplace. Companies want to bring people back to the office because they know it’s the best place for people to come together, align on priorities and get things done. People have grown weary of isolation and look forward to being able to speak directly to their colleagues and solve problems. As organizations plan for people to return in waves, they need a strategy for the physical work environment that follows new safety protocols and allows people to create, collaborate and be productive.
Minimum Distance: Create minimum 6ft distancing between people in open workstations, meeting spaces, cafés and lounge spaces. Reduce occupancy by removing desks, tables and seating, or use alternating desks.
Separate Desks: Pull workstations and desks apart to increase distancing.
More Owned Spaces: Reduce/eliminate shared desking and shift to more owned individual spaces.
How the furniture is arranged
Re-orient Furniture: Reconfigure desking to reduce face- to-face orientation; turn workstations to 90-degee angles to prevent workers from working directly across or behind one another.
Meet in theOpen: Use open spaces for meetings of more than five people, leveraging flexible furniture with movable whiteboards and screens to create boundaries.
Using screens, panels or barriers
Add Space Division: Increase barriers for existing work- spaces by adding screening, storage elements, plants or partitions.
Moveable Screens: At workstations, consider increased user-movable screening and privacy devices to reduce exposure.
Height Helps: Implement the highest boundary possible above the worksurface (on all exposed sides) when a minimum 6ft distance cannot be achieved.
Demountable walls: Create flexible private spaces with demountable walls.
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NAVIGATING WHAT'S NEXT
Working with our network of leading organizations and experts, we are sharing what we’re learning about the return to the workplace across time horizons of now, near and far.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a significant impact across the world and our local communities are no exception. At Red Thread, the health and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and business partners are our top priorities. With that in mind, we have already taken several precautionary measures to protect our people and, at the same time, continuing to serve customer needs.
We are closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and local public health agencies. We are also staying closely linked with Steelcase, our valued partner and parent company, for guidance from their COVID-19 global crisis management team.
Red Thread has made the decision to encourage our office employees to work from home until further notice. Our operations teams will continue to serve customers, as we deem safe and appropriate. We have also instituted enhanced health protocols for our employees that include limiting travel and actions to prioritize social distancing.
The Red Thread technology platforms are robust enough to fully support remote and virtual collaboration across all our locations. We have confidence in our ability to manage project workflow and we’re actively working with our vendors on delivery schedules. Our largest vendor, Steelcase feels their supply chains have adapted well to changing conditions, and we expect them to continue delivering on their commitments.
On behalf of the Red Thread team, thank you for your continued trust in our organization. We wish you the best in managing through these unprecedented times.
Use the form below to connect with a Workplace Consultant about post-COVID workplace design, products and services: