As employers adapt to evolving guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, office interior designers are also working to transform spaces to post-pandemic needs.
Current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include arranging desks at least 6 feet apart, staggering work breaks, making more tasks contactless and opting for virtual meetings.
Many offices will continue operations remotely, according to Samantha Kobe of DBI, an office interior design company that serves Bay City, Midland, Saginaw and Mount Pleasant. For businesses that do reopen, Kobe said changes will be significant.
“Because COVID-19 spreads through close contact, most work areas need to be modified,” said Kobe. “We must be flexible and proactive.
“We cannot fail to stress how critical it is to have a safety plan in place and a clear communication strategy to ensure your staff and customers understand their roles in mitigating COVID-related risks,” she added.
Kuhn Young, designer and owner of Kuhn Young Design Group in Bay City, said his business has implemented changes. Everything is cleaned twice per day. Young and Beverly Jammer, who runs the office, take the precautions seriously.
“We both wear masks,” said Young. “Guests have to wear a mask when they’re in the studio. The studio also has signage up.”
Young said it’s important to keep one’s guard up, and the business will continue in such a manner “until there is a cure.”
Young said they’ve done “a lot of FaceTiming.” Jammer has also used technology to send photographs to clients to reduce in-person visits.
“Our world may have changed quickly,” said Kobe, “but our agility, resilience and collaborative spirit did not. We have only grown stronger, together.”