Re-defining Silicon Valley Office for Post-Coronavirus Reopening
Jul 13, 2020
As COVID-19 takes a toll on the American economy, employers and employees all over the country are finding new ways to go about supporting their families. For now, most companies have resorted to letting their employees work remotely. For workplaces where this method cannot be implemented, the CDC has urged employers to take precautionary measures to avoid the spread of the pandemic.
Setting Social Distancing Guidelines in Your Silicon Valley Office
The best way to slow the spread of the current pandemic is to obey social distancing guidelines. Staying at least six feet from one another helps reduce the chances of spreading the disease, particularly through those who are asymptomatic or show little to no recognizable symptoms of the coronavirus. Silicon Valley offices must be encouraged to set certain guidelines, including but not limited to: limiting office space between coworkers complacent to the six-foot guidelines, limiting how many people could be gathered in the break room or other places of gathering, and encouraging the use of face masks and other protective equipment. The new July 2nd Santa Clara County Public Health Order has even taken this a step further by calling for facility density limitations – not to exceed 1 employee per 250 square feet + 1 customer per 150 square feet. Handshakes and other greetings should also be kept to a minimum or avoided, as direct contact of any kind could increase the risk of contracting the virus. Other measures such as temperature checks to identify anyone with a high fever-like range of temperature is mandatory for those who think they may be coming down with any virus, COVID-19, or otherwise.
Changing Commutes & Other Transportation Methods
Transportation is crucial to the modern office, including offices in Silicon Valley. From personal to public, finding ways to get from one destination to another is important not just for the average worker, but for society as a whole. Given the current situation, however, simply readying your office for a safe reopening is not going to be enough…
Another area you’ll want to consider is how will employees get to the office safely? Options such as carpooling or ride-sharing apps, such as Uber, will likely be limited due to health and safety concerns, let alone availability. Additionally, public transportation will likely be avoided as employees shy away from crowded places. Therefore, do you have the parking capacity to support more cars? Do you have shower facilities or locker facilities to support employees biking to work, riding e-scooters or some other alternative transportation?
Cleaning Procedures & Implementations in the Office
Personal hygiene is important at all times, especially during these tough times. Employers must encourage employees to use proper protective equipment such as, but not limited to, wearing face masks, using disinfectant to clean equipment, and encourage proper hand-washing procedures. Whether it be a Silicon Valley office or a home office, having a clean environment should always be a top priority, and even more so during these times when everything must be disinfected thoroughly. Contact me if you have questions about facility management best practices in response to the current environment.
Food Preparedness & Sanitation Methods
Sanitation in the workplace is not just for people and objects, but some food is also susceptible to contamination. That’s why tech firms are rethinking perks in their workplaces, causing many to shift their perks strategy to either limit or drop benefits such as free food and access to office kitchens altogether. COVID-19 has made communal self-serve food perks very challenging, snacks should now come prepackaged to make it easier to disinfect and harder to contaminate the contents inside.
These are just some measures Silicon Valley companies could take if they hope to reopen during these difficult times. As Silicon Valley reopens, these and other precautionary measures should be prioritized to promote a safe and healthy environment.
As a result, Colliers has launched a new offering in order to alleviate pressure on your in-house resources and provide expert advice to get back to work:
The Back-to-Work Navigator is designed to provide a 48-hour turnaround analysis of your office space and recommendations to achieve readiness for people to come back to work. Reassure your employees and other key stakeholders that you’re prioritizing a safe return to the office!
Contact me for more information.
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Until next time…