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Wayfinding: Keeping social distancing in mind

Annabelle Harris

Wayfinding: Keeping social distancing in mind

Post COVID-19 workspaces

Whilst many offices remain empty for the foreseeable future as their employees report daily from the safety of their sofa. Some companies have started to think about how they can re-define their spaces to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Hot desking will be a thing of the past, employees will be asked to remain 2 meters apart at all times, face to face meetings will be kept to the bare minimum and most upsetting of all - canteens will remain closed for the foreseeable future?! 

Although some companies have threatened the return of cubicle style offices that were thankfully abandoned after a short-lived popularity in the early 2000s. Other companies (the more sane ones) believe that the more they isolate their employees the more of a negative impact it will have on a number of outcomes and therefore are exploring other options to safely return to the office.

Our friends over at Interface have been promoting the use of wayfinding as a way to help companies safely return to the office whilst following social distancing guidelines. So we've hopped on the bandwagon to spread the world and help share their top tips.

Wayfinding

Wayfinding has been around for years and is a popular method used to isolate different areas in large and open planned spaces. It is a stylish yet functional way of managing an open space through the use of different colours or textures. Using this basic concept of coloured carpet tiles can help to create a safer working environment post COVID-19 life. 

Wayfinding is a great option for spacious and open office environment where back in the good old days co-workers would come together to connect and collaborate, but now may need some guidance on how to keep their distance from one another. Wayfinding aims to help people navigate their surroundings carefully and safely. It's super easy to follow as a directional pattern on the floor acts as barriers of where workers can and can't go.

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Reception / Entrance Areas

Social distancing will pose its biggest threat in busy and fast paced environments where people are often found rushing around willy-nilly with their phones glued to their faces with no sense that they're about to walk into you. Sounding familiar? Carpet tiles can be used to create one-way systems and to separate traffic to ensure it flows smoothly and no one is criss-crossing wildly from corner to corner.

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Us Brits love nothing more than to form a good ol' fashioned orderly queue, we’re famous for it.  Queuing as part of our daily lives due to COVID-19 wasn’t much of a problem for us however keeping a shopping trolleys distance from the person in front well, has been proven to be a little more challenging for some. By using a simple two tone design where queues are frequently formed, individuals are subtly (yet stylishly) reminded to remain 2 meters apart from their fellow queuer.

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Office Spaces

By creating block designs in various coloured carpet tiles, patterns can be used to create designated work spaces. It is like having your own personal bubble on display 24/7 and you can actually shout at Karen for invading your personal space - the evidence is right there, she is standing in the green. 

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One thing's for sure and that is that wayfinding doesn't have to be bland and boring. Transition tiles are a perfect way to zone out different areas whilst keeping it funky & fresh.

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However, the outbreak of COVID-19 may cause a permanent shift towards the newly adopted working from home lifestyle and just because you’re not working in your 'official' office at the moment doesn’t mean you can't, well, have an office. DCTUK are here to help you along your way and to make sure your swanky new home office has a flooring fit for the job, read more HERE!

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