How To Instantly Adjust Your Floor Plan For Social Distancing
Planning a return to the office amid ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic means rethinking space planning to follow social distancing guidelines.
In response to this growing need, iOFFICE has developed Space-Right™, a tool that takes the guesswork out of planning safer spaces by automatically reconfigure your floor plans based on social distancing parameters.
Here’s a closer look at what you need to consider as you plan your return and how you can use Space-Right for social distancing in the workplace.
What are the latest guidelines for social distancing in the workplace?
COVID-19 vaccinations have become much more widespread globally, though the percentage of people who have been vaccinated varies widely by country and region. In the United States, over 60% of all adults have been fully vaccinated, and nearly 75% had received at least one dose as of mid-August, according to the CDC.
In Canada, 67% of the total population has been fully vaccinated, and nearly 75% have received at least one dose, according to the country’s records.
However, with the new Delta variant increasing COVID-19 cases in many areas and leading to breakthrough infections for some vaccinated people, the CDC is again recommending people avoid close contact with people indoors and wear masks in areas with high transmission rates.
The CDC still defines “close contact” as being within six feet. That means it might be too soon to relax social distancing guidelines in your workplace. The best approach is to continue to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates in your area and make decisions accordingly.
If you do choose to relax your guidelines now or in the future, you should be prepared to update them quickly if conditions change.
That means having a flexible approach to your office layout. You need to be able to reconfigure your furniture, limit capacity in conference rooms, and restrict traffic in large common areas.
How Space-Right supports social distancing
Our Space-Right safe distancing planner is an added feature that works with our space management software and move software.
It uses an intelligent algorithm to instantly reconfigure spaces according to your social distancing guidelines. It automatically calculates the distance between two points, creating “circles of safety” that allow you to see where two occupiable spaces intersect.
Here’s how it works:
- Set your social distancing parameters based on the amount of space needed between workspaces using a simple slider
- Automatically generate new floor plans based on those parameters
- Map and compare scenarios prior to implementing changes
- Reconfigure spaces that fall outside of the social distancing range (such as conference rooms or common areas) by following the software’s recommendations
- Reassign seats based on employee location or assigned shifts
- Create move tickets to make necessary changes in your workplace
Space-Right allows you to prevent overcrowding in your workplace by increasing the distance between desks and showing you the recommended capacity for conference rooms and common areas.
It gives you the flexibility to ease social distancing guidelines and deploy them again at any time.
How to get started with Space-Right
If you already have our space management and move management software, talk to your account manager about adding the new Space-Right feature. Existing customers receive three months of free access to Space-Right to support your return-to-work planning.
If you don’t use our space and move software yet, our team can get you up and running quickly. Providing copies of your polylined floor plans will put you on the fast track to smarter space planning, allowing our team to rapidly complete your software implementation.
Polylining draws a perimeter around the inside walls of your floor plan, giving you the most accurate space measurements and ensuring every inch of space is labeled correctly.
If you use a CAFM like AutoCAD, you most likely have polylined floor plans. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a pro at polylining to use our space management software. Our team can help you convert PDF or JPG files of your floor plans into interactive layers without our system.
Once it’s done, you’ll be able to take advantage of all our space and move planning features, including:
- Visualizing space utilization for your entire real estate portfolio
- Using interactive stacking diagrams to move or restack floors
- Creating plans to move individuals or teams back into your workforce in shifts or with safe distancing
How to use Space-Right for strategic space planning
Although the recent coronavirus pandemic has brought smarter space planning to the forefront of everyone’s minds, it will remain essential for any modern, agile workplace.
In addition to keeping your employees safe, proper space planning gives you the insight you need to adapt to ongoing changes in your workforce.
That includes adjusting your real estate strategy for a more distributed workforce, a greater emphasis on remote work and an increase in independent contractors or consultants.
The latest Gartner research shows at least 41% of employees will continue to work remotely at least part of the time after workplaces reopen.
With our new planning tool, you can assign seating based on employees’ needs. Employees who plan to continue working remotely several days a week can be assigned to share desks with others who work remotely on alternate days.
You can also designate certain desks or small conference rooms as flexible spaces, allowing employees to reserve them as needed.
You’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces more frequently going forward to ensure employee health and safety, and to reduce overall risk for your business.
Although the worst of the coronavirus pandemic will hopefully be behind us soon, public health officials have warned we could see another potential outbreak in the fall that coincides with flu season.
Just as your workplace has emergency response plans you can enact at a moment’s notice, you should have contingency plans for social distancing. And, when you need to pivot quickly based on changing needs, manually planning desk spacing measures simply isn’t an option.
Ready for a closer look at our Space-Right planner? See how it works and request a live demo today.