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How office spaces can work post-lockdown

Ar Gaurav and Sheetal Joshi of Studio3 Architects point out the dos and don'ts to follow or not follow

Ar Sheetal Joshi, Ar Gaurav Joshi, Studio3 Architects

Lockdown is slowly being transformed as a thing of the past. Mission Begin Again is the newest Mantra!
We are keen to resume work at our workplaces and want to get out of our forced home arrest of sorts.

But remember things are never ever going to be same again.

We cannot afford to ignore the learnings from this 'Lockdown Era' as we try resuming routine work at our workplaces. As we move out of the safety our homes – one will need to ensure the personal hygiene practices we have adopted into our daily lives during the 'Lockdown Era' needs to observed & inculcated at our workplaces in a more meticulous way.

Post lockdown with the world around us opening up, another wave of infection cannot be ruled out given the density of population especially in metropolitan setups. Here individuals & organisations have a larger role to play to contain & prevent the same. 

Employees: 
*Make masks & gloves a part of your wardrobe for at least a year. Keep an extra pair handy in your baggage - just in case of emergency. Sanitise your hands at intervals a habit.
*During travel, ensure strict physical distancing norms in private or public transport. If your job involves travelling, make sure your next of kin is aware of your whereabouts. Before travelling - be informed in advance about contamination in the zones you are likely to travel for work.
*Apart from your laptop/tablet & allied accessories, carry your own personal stationary. 
*Do not pass on any information or news overheard in public spaces. Verify for authenticity. 
*Avoid outside food unless unavoidable. Continue intake of warm water throughout the day.

Employers:
*SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) should include range of measures from temperature screening at entry points to the campus to use of automation at various locations to minimize physical contact at transit points. 
*Security staff at the entrance should be equipped with relevant protective measures in proportion to their exposure to volume of visitors/staff handled by them. Ensure they take weekly breaks & maintain personal hygiene. 
*Overhauling/audit of existing HVAC systems to be carried out
*Minimise Furniture in common assembly areas. 
*Multiple elevators in office towers to be assigned specific floors to avoid multiple contact with the control panels inside/outside the elevators.
*Replace bio-metric access controls by scanning personal mobile phones (integrating QR coding) for all employees
*Inside the office premises, ensure safe distancing between 2 workstations as per PDN’s. Invest in preventive/protective equipment’s to ensure safety of the staff. 
*Introduce see through partitions (sneeze guards) between 2 people seated side by side or face to face at workstations.
*Stagger lunch & teatime breaks and restrict assembly depending upon the seating capacity after ensuring PDN.
*Encourage maximizing use of Remote technologies & Web meetings/conferences for business. In case of on-site workers ensure PDN through proper supervising staff dedicated for the purpose.
*Offices should maintain medical assistance numbers in case of any emergencies.       In this hour of crisis - be humane to one and all. After all the resources build any Organizations.

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June 2020
10 Jun 2020