The Meeting Space: A new way of company collaboration
As companies everywhere prepare to bring back their workforce to the workplace, the way we collaborate and engage with each other demands a new approach. A definitive shift in the way we utilise and manage the meeting space – the place where people come together to achieve great things. As your trusted guide Staples will walk you through the new meeting space recommendations.
Leave no germ unturned
While juggling meeting minutes, high-priority emails and an internal discussion about what to have for lunch, the unthinkable happens – someone sneezes. Where a simple ‘bless you’ would have sufficed before, many people will now raise their eye brows and be concerned. It is not a strange response, the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that most of the droplets released into the room when someone coughs or sneezes land on nearby surfaces and if you stand within one metre of a person they can land on you, increasing your chances of infection. However, with the right measures in place, the risk of infection should already be mitigated and employees and customers can continue their endeavors safely. Thus, that virus, or simply hay fever, won’t get anywhere near you in a re-worked meeting space where distance and hygiene come first.
Safe and clean office travel
Outside of the formal meeting space, there is also a wealth of other communal spaces that mustn’t go unnoticed, such as when leaving the conference room, walking through the hallway, holding the stairail, traveling in the lift or waiting at reception for a colleague to join you. A considerate approach to daily movements through the meeting space can have a significant effect.
- The ground floor reception area should be equipped with floor markers, signs on hygiene best practices and free-standing, touch free hand sanitisers that, despite altering what the interior designer set out to achieve, should serve as reminders of good hygiene protocol. You may also consider providing all employees and visitors with a personal hygiene kit to be used when inside your building.
- In some large buildings the lift will need careful consideration to limit the number of people who can travel within; signage indicating the floor space and facial direction of users, along with stylus’s to press any buttons will aid the safe use of lifts.
- For those taking the stairs, safe distancing measures can be established with one-way flows in walkways and stairwells that guide movement throughout your meeting space while getting everyone from A to B safely.
- When arriving in the meeting room, think of how to regulate the routing of employees to ensure the proper distance. Limit the number of people that are allowed in each meeting room through clear signage and provide chair covers and screen dividers on the tables to avoid spread of micro-organisms.
Research suggests that hands account for 80% of the spread of micro-organisms, therefore anything you are used to using your hands to do, like opening doors and pressing lift buttons are a real concern in the new normal. Where possible, think about keeping doors open, although for any fire doors consider ensure free-standing touch free hand sanitisers are available near each door. Specific door openers and clean keys also can provide a solution. Clean keys even serve multiple goals, including pressing lift buttons or selecting your favourite coffee from the coffee machine.