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MHAworks Asheville office began preparing in early June for employees’ return. Having a compact open office space with a staff of seven did not lend itself to appropriate social distancing, as most workstations have less than 6’ of separation. As a result, acrylic screens have been installed between each work area to provide a physical barrier between staff. In addition, social distancing floor markers that serve as daily reminders have been placed at appropriate locations, and antimicrobial mouse pads and individual alcohol spray bottles have been distributed to each employee.
Beyond these tangible changes, a change in daily behavior and habits play a significant role in a safe and healthy work environment. MHA Asheville set the stage for these changes, even before staff returned to the office, by distributing a detailed “Return to Work Guideline” that aligned with both Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations for workplaces. Upon employees’ return, daily cleaning protocols were implemented and wearing a mask was made mandatory when not sitting at a workstation.
The pandemic has been the catalyst to expand that knowledge base even further. MHAworks is now providing knowledge-based office design services to assist our clients not only with providing a safe working environment, but also creating adaptable spaces that are pandemic-ready for the future. Our team of interior designers can assist with a wide range of services to create a safe workplace, including space planning, modifying floorplans, reworking paths of travel, and installation of protective screens.