Making your premises Covid-compliant

During the last 12 months, thousands of businesses across the UK have become accustomed to working remotely without the central hub of an office, but with restrictions easing, it’s now time to plan for the return to normal. Or rather, the New Normal. Microsoft Teams and Zoom have provided an adequate alternative to working together in the office, and many businesses now believe that homeworking is the way forward, but for the thousands that don’t, creating a workable, Covid-compliant configuration for their staff is becoming a priority.

There’s no doubt that working from home has the potential to be a game changer. More flexibility, a healthy work:life balance and no more commuting are all appealing concepts, but in reality there are many sectors where remote working simply isn’t an option. And for businesses in these sectors, it’s now time to be planning the return and designing the office space for the New Normal.

But what will the office actually look like post-Covid? It’s likely that some of the bells and whistles may be sacrificed in favour of more functional, practical layouts. The prediction is that a Covid-safe office, for example, may only accommodate 40% of the desks that were included pre-pandemic. This will necessitate careful planning and clever design, especially when it comes to the configuration of the desks, the movement of employees around the office, the ventilation required and the viral screens that may be necessary.

One thing is for certain: hygiene will be key. Sanitisers will be prominent at entrances and exit points, with key messages regarding hand washing, social distancing and the cleaning of surfaces constantly reinforced using wall and floor signage. Offices, warehouses and factories which have higher footfall may also introduce technology to check body temperature prior to entry or commencement of shifts. That age-old routine of the weekly office clean will be a thing of the past as disinfecting workstations will be a daily task, and deep cleans will have to be carried out more regularly. The decision to open or close shared spaces such as communal kitchens will need to be taken with the practicality of extra hygiene in mind, with deep cleans and fogging becoming the norm.

The Trades Union Congress recently reported that as many as 39% of workers were worried that they may not be able to socially distance adequately when they return to work. All businesses will be weighing up the cost of redesigning their commercial space, probably for a reduced headcount, but with the right advice there are ways of achieving a great outcome without a huge investment. Lower-cost solutions such as desktop viral screens and sneeze screens are affordable and can have a big impact, especially as they can also serve as a permanent reminder of the need for social distancing. As well as installing viral screens within the office environment, it’s advisable to explore how they can also make a large reception area safer for staff and visitors alike.

Innovations such as creating a contactless office also have genuine merit. Whether it’s a door handle, a toilet flush, a light switch or a lift button, we all touch things all the time without giving it a second’s thought, so offering a touchless alternative via a mobile app is well worth considering. Automatic doors, touch-free toilet flushes and motion-operated sanitiser dispensers are becoming ever more commonplace in the working environment.

Creating space will inevitably lead to a reduction in the numbers of people who are in the office at any one time, yet there will be a requirement for improved airflow and ventilation. Meeting in a socially distanced fashion outdoors is one way of retaining the feeling of teamworking and collective decision-making, but effectively circulating air around the workplace is a pressing issue to resolve.

As Lee Alexander, owner of Alexander Green Interiors, points out, the New Normal will be just that. ‘Here at Alexander Green we’re working with our clients to ensure that their premises are Covid-compliant for the return of their staff,’ says Lee. ‘This is involving rethinking their spaces, reducing the numbers of desks, designing and installing desktop viral screens and supplying a range of sanitiser stations and signage. We believe that the effects of Covid on office design will be felt for years to come. In fact, they will most likely have an impact on the way workplaces are future-proofed as we will see new technology emerge to reduce touchpoints and a far more flexible approach to shift patterns and working practices. Even smaller details such as the materials that are used for office furniture will need to be considered, with wipe-clean surfaces such as stone and laminate potentially replacing wood to limit the spread of bacteria and viruses.

‘We’re very passionate about helping businesses return to work in a manner that limits risk for their employees, and as a result we’re offering a Covid safety survey which enables us to review the current setup and make recommendations as to how to achieve compliance. From the review we can move on to designing the new space and supplying and installing the relevant office furniture and desktop viral screens, as well as offering a comprehensive deep clean and fogging service.’

Alexander Green design, supply and install office furniture, office seating and viral screens in Cambridge and across the UK, so please contact us for no obligation expert advice and support to discuss how we can help you achieve Covid-19 compliance for your safe return to the office.

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I would highly recommend Alexander Green Interiors. They gave a very friendly and efficient service and the quality of the screens provided is very good. Having the screens fitted has allowed us to continue to work as a team in the office and has given us the confidence to do so.

1G Dynamics

Lee is the perfect supplier. He was honest, reliable and worked in a speedy manner. Lee is friendly and wasn't pushy; he gave us the best advice and waited for us to be ready to purchase. The desks were fitted in a clean and professional manner so there was little disruption to our office. I could not recommend Lee enough and I will certainly be using his services again in the future. Thank you for looking after us Lee!

Busy Bee Recruitment

Lee has provided office furniture to our business as well as to customers we have introduced him to. In all cases Lee has listened to what we and our customers have wanted and has gone that extra mile by suggesting alternatives and improvements to our customers’ requirements. Lee has always been prompt in attending to our customers’ requests and has always delivered on his proposals. I have recently visited our customers' offices and the attention to detail in Lee's furniture has been second to none. Their knowledge of the furniture industry is amazing and his attention to detail shines through on his projects. Lee and Alexander Green are our 'go to' office interiors business, and we are truly happy to recommend them whenever and wherever possible.

Cambridge Networks

Very quick and efficient service and the product was exactly what we wanted – thank you.

Cristea Roberts Gallery

From the first point of contact with Lee Alexander from Alexander Green Interiors in establishing our Covid protection screens for our Headquarter offices, nothing was too much trouble, discussing our existing office layout design, sending samples, and seeing the delivery through on a quick turnaround. I would like to thank Lee and the team and highly recommend them for any office furniture requirements and Covid protection screens for teams returning in the workplace.

Ideal Response

Over a testing period for our business, Alexander Green have proven a reliable and innovative supplier who can be trusted to offer the best in service and quality.

IM Products

If you are looking for an office furniture supplier who will take the trouble to ensure that a chair fits you, as well as your budget, please contact Lee Alexander. He truly offers a personal service. I recommended Lee Alexander to my neighbour, who was in severe back pain from working at the kitchen table with an unsuitable chair. I loaned him one of Lee Alexander's chairs, and he quickly ordered one for himself. I just love my new table. Thank you for arranging it to be made to measure so that we can have two people working at a Covid-safe distance in a relatively small space. The little beech trim to the white table that you suggested makes it look like much more expensive than it actually was.

Janeteva Estate Management

The specification, design and supply of furniture components was assisted in a professional manner, making the ordering process a good experience. I found the installation team very knowledgeable and friendly. The provision of an installation supervisor as a point of contact on the day expedited the works without the need for too much input from myself, leaving me free to pursue other aspects of the project.

The team were attentive during a brief Health & Safety induction and adhered to conditions set out on the Permit To Work. The installation went smoothly and the room was left in specified condition. I particularly liked the fact that I was asked if everything was satisfactory before the team left site, negating any need for snagging to be undertaken. I would definitely use Alexander Green again.

Johnson Matthey

We have done business with Alexander Green Interiors for a number of years and have always received a reliable and professional service from them. Their communications are excellent and customer satisfaction is one of their top priorities. They are our first port of call when we require office and bespoke furniture. Lee takes time to fully understand our requirements and goes out of his way to ensure that we are left satisfied with the end results. He has been especially helpful during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and has worked with us to install screens to protect our staff and keep key areas of our business operational.

Johnson Matthey Royston

When we were looking to improve our office space we were referred to Alexander Green by a trusted supplier. From the moment we met with Lee we were very impressed, and what began as a project to supply some new office furniture has turned into a full redesign - with significant modifications due to Covid-19 compliance - and we are delighted with the outcome. Lee took a detailed brief and made some fantastic recommendations regarding supplying power, creating storage and enabling the team to work safely within the new government guidelines. We would thoroughly recommend Alexander Green to any business that’s looking for creative office solutions.

Kamal Dhariwal, Kale & Damson

Lee helped us out with our request for a bespoke screen to enable visits to take place in our Garden Room. Initially he wasn't sure if what we wanted could be done, but he and his team managed to find a way to make what we wanted and to deliver the extra large screen in less than a week. We have been delighted with the results, as it has meant that residents and relatives have been able to see each other again in the safest possible environment.

Margaret House Residential and Dementia Care Home

I would like to thank you for the recent supply install of some office furniture that you undertook for us. The range of product and the assistance received in choosing was only the start of the journey; your communication was excellent throughout with a speedy delivery and professional install by the most courteous professional crew that I could ever have wished for. Not only was the install a joy the final product is of great quality and I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

To summarise, I would have no hesitation in recommending you and your team as you really have delivered a service that can only be described as ‘above and beyond’.

Safety & Health Ltd

On 1st June this year we moved our old site based in Ely to 12 miles down the road in Chatteris. The move was a great success from every point of view. The move allowed us as a business to grow up, to go from a make-do culture where the offices were concerned to a more professional approach. Lee and his company allowed this to happen seamlessly. Lee himself was a great guy to work with and his fitting team were experienced, understood the product and fitted it all to a very high standard. Lee was competitive, always available to talk ideas through and gave some great ideas that if you weren’t in the office industry you wouldn’t know – 8 workstations on one integral frame and pull-out desktops, for example. I would use Lee and his team again in a heartbeat and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone who was looking at office furniture, however big or small.

Suncrop

Due to Alexander Green Office Interiors’ good performance with our office refits, we have also repeatedly reached out to them to see if they would be interested in carrying out additional work which deviates slightly from their core business and for which they have been more than happy to accept the challenge. With this alternative additional work, the team put forward ideas on how these different opportunities they were involved with could be improved, run more fluidly and improve the end user experience, and we have worked together with them to implement the changes successfully and, furthermore, have been grateful for their flexibility when it has been necessary for changes to be made.

Sweco UK Limited

The chair is excellent! It's so good to have the supportive back, and you were absolutely right about the arms on the chair; I use them all the time to support my own arms when typing or using the mouse. I've had no upper back pain, or upper arm pain, when sitting in the chair. I really notice the difference when occasionally I sit at a different desk with a much poorer chair!

I have recently moved my desk to a different room in the house, so I now have more room at my workspace and I appreciate the adjustability of the chair even more.

In summary: excellent chair and excellent service!

Tim

We had new office fit-outs carried out by Alexander Green Office Interiors consisting of four admin departments, each needing to seat 12 staff. Our specific needs were expertly advised and supported with technical drawings and 3D previews which gave us a realistic idea of composition and overall finish. Competitors advised that seating 12 staff adequately was not possible, but Alexander Green were able to fulfil. The entire process from survey to installation was faultless. Communication was excellent, with Lee always keeping us notified via email of delivery times and promptly answering all queries. Installation dates were met as planned and installers were professional and tidy. Outstanding service and care; would definitely use again.

TSG Building Services Plc

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