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10 most common shared tips to prepare your office for reopening

  • Managing Occupancy
  • Workplace Strategy

Justin Timmer is our In-House Researcher. Contact him via

In the past weeks and days, many workplace leaders have shared their tips, advice and suggestions on how to prepare for your office reopening. We’ve made it easy for you, with a top 10 of the most commonly shared ones. We haven’t made a judgement about the effectiveness and expected usability, we just make it easy for you to read and to have an overview of what you should consider.

1. Reduce the capacity in meeting facilities

Reduce the number of seats and/or restrict the use of certain seats at meetings and social facilities, to ensure a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between each employee and prevent large groups of people from gathering in one enclosed/open space.

2. De-densify the workstations

Ensure a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between employees. When they sit at their desks in relation to other desks and circulation spaces. You can temporarily block off workstations or simply reduce the number of desks and/or seats.

3. Handle peak occupancy

With increased distances between desks, the office’s capacity for housing employees becomes less. Before office reopening, you should calculate whether the new arrangement can handle the peaks in occupancy. Promote and facilitate remote-working, let employees work in shifts, to free up your office space. So, it is very important to monitor your occupancy trends during the first weeks to ensure your capacity is not exceeded.

4. Upgrade HVAC

The air that your employees breathe is also a shared resource, so invest in air-cleaning systems to protect collaborative environments. Many of these systems display real-time air quality measurements on digital screens to keep employees informed, and it will serve as a continuous disinfectant.

5. Promote hygiene on site

Place posters, signs, stickers and other visual guides in relevant places to remind employees of proper hygiene. Next to cleaning experts, talk to your HR and corporate communications colleagues about how to distribute the instructions.

6. Supplies for proper hygienics

Ensure that face masks and/or paper tissues are available on the premises. Moreover, place hand sanitisers around the office and promote their use.

7. Use floor marking

To help employees with keeping a distance from each other, you can apply floor markings on walking lanes, around desks, or on office “hotspots”.

8. Avoid device sharing

Frequently touched mouses and keyboards are sources of contagion; try to avoid or limit device sharing.

9. Go touchless

Touching doors, trashcans, sanitisers and faucets are easy ways for the virus to spread. By operating them with gestures, speech or proximity through sensor-equipped devices one can avoid contagion.

10. And finally: develop a “What if?” action plan

Develop and agree on a response plan in case someone at the meeting becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (dry cough, fever, malaise). This plan should include a room or area where someone who is feeling unwell or has symptoms can be safely isolated. Have a plan for how they can be safely transferred from there to a health facility and know what to do if a meeting participant, staff member or service provider shows signs of COVID-19 during or just after the meeting.

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