Office social distancing signage and structures for workplaces are set to become important as the UK mulls a gradual, staggered return to work.
The country went into lockdown on March 23 in a bid to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. Many workplaces across the country closed down, with staff put on the government’s furlough scheme or working from home.
What happens next as we move into a new phase of the public health emergency remains slightly unclear at the time of writing. It will depend on scientific and government advice, public transport, schooling and childcare and the extent to which Britain has got Covid-19 under control in the weeks and months ahead.
Boris Johnson said on May 10 that the government was “actively encouraging” people to return to work in certain industries if they’re unable to do so from home.
Ensuring Safety in The Workplace Post-COVID19
However, unions have stressed there should be no return to the workplace unless and until safety can be guaranteed, and that workers should know their rights, and what to do if they feel unsafe.
Everyone is adapting rapidly, and most employers will need to think about how to manage the return to work and source things like office social distancing signage, which they’ve never previously needed, at speed. So it’s certainly not too early to start planning.
Many staff members will feel anxious about returning to their desks, and a number of measures have been proposed, from staggered shift times to social distancing desk partitions and screens at workstations, and testing by temperature taking. Canteens may remain closed and hot-desking banned, with the frequency of and numbers at face-to-face meetings limited.
Certainly, the office won’t feel ‘normal’ for a while. Covid-19 isn’t going to disappear overnight, so employers are going to have to find new ways for staff to stay safe on-site. Social distancing signage has a key role to play.
What is Social Distancing Office Signage?
Office social distance signage:
- Stresses how seriously you take staff well-being, health and safety
- Shows you’re following government advice strictly, and acknowledge the scale of the situation
- Reminds staff of their part in reducing infection
- Plays an active role in telling people what to do, such as staying 2m apart, and physically reminds them of how great that distance is, for example with floor graphics
- Reinforces what you expect of your employees, and what they can expect from you
- Needs to look professional, and be totally unambiguous
- Can incorporate your current branding for consistency of message
- Finally, it’s a way of welcoming people back to work which highlights how grateful you are to have team members there. It thanks people for returning and following the new rules – it will also make them feel safe in what may initially seem an alien or unsettling environment.
Implementing Social Distancing Office Signage
Clearly, you’ll need to manage the return to work carefully. You’ll probably want to start by drafting new seating plans, so people work at a safe distance from each other, then share these with everyone. Transparent and constant communication from the outset will be crucial, as will close and regular monitoring.
Involve people and gain their feedback from the earliest stage.
Here are some types of office social distancing signage to consider:
#1 Vinyl floor graphics and signs
Social distancing wayfinding floor graphics and wall signs, usually vinyl, help direct foot traffic around a building and serve as a physical reminder of where to stand to keep the 2m safe distance. You could even have one at the entrance to your premises saying ‘welcome back’. They’re particularly useful to have in communal areas.
#2 Entrance and exit signage
It may be an idea to have a sign at the entrance to your workplace, welcoming people back and offering a summary of the safety measures that you have in place and reminding staff of what they are expected to do under the new regime.
If people tend to leave by a different exit, consider office social distancing signage reminding them to stay safe while travelling home.
#3 Floor wayfinding graphics for one-way systems
If you have a large premises and want people to walk around a building in one direction to give each other space, floor graphics are the obvious way of ensuring they keep to this.
#4 Stairwells and lift signage
These areas are where space is often limited, and people may congregate. Social distancing signage here can remind workers of the need to stay safe by maintaining their distance. You may also need it to help limit numbers in lifts.
#5 Exterior signage
You can use office social distancing signage inside or outside your premises. You may want a sign outside your building so people know what to do before they’ve even set foot inside.
#6 Sanitising stations
If you’re supplying employees with hand gel or face masks, it makes sense to do so from a clearly identified central point. Tell people what you are supplying, along with any necessary additional instructions.
#7 Office desk partitions
Keep those who work for you safe with versatile, flexible screens that can be moved around the office as required. Some protective acrylic screens, similar to those you see at shop checkout points these days, can just sit on top of a desk. You’ll definitely want screens like this for reception areas.
#8 Roller banners and tension fabric systems
A smart roller banner, perhaps just inside your office building or on each floor, looks smart and underlines how seriously you are taking the situation.
Good old-fashioned posters, professionally produced to a high standard, are always useful and cost-effective additions to communal areas such as kitchens. Have them laminated so they last, and use them to say thanks, welcome back, stay safe or reinforce any other messages, such as how many people are allowed in a particular space.
Getting Social Distancing Signage Spot-on
Of course, you could try and produce social distancing signage for your office yourself.
But most businesses outside the printing industry don’t have the resources to do such an important task professionally. And if you can only print out to A4, for instance, you won’t enjoy the benefits of large-format print where that’s needed.
Realistically, home-made signage is unlikely to be up to do the job and probably won’t last or even stay in place for long.
Let Rocket Help With Your Social Distancing Strategy
At Rocket, as experienced graphic installers and large format printers, we’re ideally placed to produce office social distancing signage. We have extensive past experience in office branding and signage and we’ve previously worked for huge brands, including Visa Europe among others.
We’re working throughout the lockdown with a skeletal team, while rigorously following all government-recommended safety measures. We produce and install interior and exterior social distancing office signage and structures across the UK, as detailed above, to a superlative standard and tight deadlines so you’re ready to return to work as soon as you safely can. Call us today to learn more.