Crossing the ‘T’s and dotting the ‘I’s in the new normal

June, 2020

Hints for commercial designers in the new normal


Lockdown restrictions are continuing to ease around the UK and more and more businesses are opening their doors once again. After months of remote and digital work, many of our clients will be able to enter the premises they are re-designing and begin practical work. We thought it might be useful to provide a bit of a checklist for operating ‘in the new normal’.

1. Confirm all appointments

Many businesses are currently only able to operate by limiting and controlling the number of employees/suppliers on their premises. While it is unlikely that you would simply turn up, there could be an added dimension of ‘optimum time of sites’. It could be worth confirming appointments and getting an idea of what to expect.

2. Establish any virus mitigation systems requirements before beginning any work

Talk about incorporating virus mitigation systems into a design from the start. For example, you could ask clients whether they want social distancing screens, a one-way system or floor markings included in your design work. See Government guidelines for offices.

Handwashing stations may not be the most stylish items, but they are necessary if we want to stop the spread of coronavirus. If they are positioned so they’re accessible for all, such as next to entrance and exit points, staff are more likely to take advantage of them. For more ideas view our blog on creating the hygienic office.

3. Future-proof your work

Although lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease, the virus is still a threat. Ensure you future-proof your work by creating design concepts and making decisions that are suitable in a post-pandemic world, as well as right now. Consider if communal areas will still be a requirement, go beyond desk spacing and surface types to what future usage could look like for a client.

Room dividers for example can help with social distancing, especially if your client works in a small office, but it will be important to strive a balance between hygiene isolation and the communication benefits of being part of an office team.

Commercial flooring from Duraflor is guaranteed from 10 years to 20 years. Thinking about how to use it both short-term and long-term will be important. Flooring presents a great way-finding and zoning opportunity. Considering how colour and different floor covering can be used to create barriers and transition activity is an important aspect of future proofing. Plus investing in Social Distancing Tiles that can be replaced at some point in the future is a good call. For a hygienic vinyl option Social Distancing Mats provide an ideal temporary solution that protects the floor long-term as well.


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