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Rethinking Engineering Workplace During COVID-19

Installing Hygiene Equipment, Floor Plan Reconfiguration, and Improvement of Air Quality are Key Ideas

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Engineering Workplace


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the engineering workplace environment is unprecedented, and businesses will need to re-shape their physical environment and develop new policies to enable employees to return work safely.

Several leading fit-out contractors around the world are helping industrial, construction, technology, utilities and manufacturing companies assess and adapt their current engineering workplace to meet new government guidelines to prepare for employees’ return to work. These include the re-configuration of floorplans to create social distancing, the installation of touchless technology and hygiene equipment and communication amongst a few.

Several design engineering companies encourages businesses to see this as an opportunity to not only make their engineering workplace compliant and safe, but also healthier, and more sustainable for the future.

In light of government easing COVID-19 restrictions, engineering companies can now operate at a maximum capacity of 50% staff, with 100% likely to return to work as per government communications for the public sector. Design engineering experts and contractors says there are some important physical changes all businesses will need to implement to make their engineering workplace healthier and more sustainable for the safety and wellbeing of employees.

The post-coronavirus office will be different from what was ‘normal’ just a few months ago, and for many businesses it may mean they no longer need as much floorspace as some employees continue to work from home.

According to various design engineering companies in Asia and Europe, the essential part of any ‘return to work’ plan for businesses is to rethink their physical workspace and also consider the mental health and well-being of your team during this phase of returning to work. Here are its top considerations:

Floor Plan Reconfiguration

  • Social distancing is the reality of our new engineering workplace. Where employees sit and work, and meet will need to be carefully planned to ensure social distancing. This can include re-configuring entire floorplans, moving workstations/desks and furniture to ensure social distancing, and adding desk partitions/screens.

Installing Hygiene & Well-being Equipment

  • Installation of hygiene stations equipped with thermometers, protective items such as sanitizer and facemasks and hygiene reminder signs is the first essential step. Business should also consider installing anti-microbial materials/surfaces, and touch-less sensor technology (motion sensor bathroom taps, lights, sanitizer dispensers, and voice activated elevators and office machines) to reduce the number of surfaces touched by employees.

Improvement of Air Quality

  • Global health authorities such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend increased air circulation and flow, and to improve air filtration and ventilation. A design engineering contractor can assess and measure air quality and ventilation effectiveness and conduct maintenance where required.
Read more  Clean Air in Europe leads to 11K Fewer Deaths During Lockdown

Refurbishments & New Fit-Outs

  • For companies looking to reduce floorspace, and re-configure existing workspace as staff continue to work from home, A design engineering contractor can demolish, rebuild and fit out offices to new design specifications.


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Engr. Jenae Muller
Engineering geek. Currently working at Murray & Roberts Joburg. Former senior engineering recruiter at Group Five Engineering & Construction. Studied industrial engineering at Univ of Johannesburg. Kickass Dutch who likes tattoo. Blogging about innovations. Follow me on Linkedin


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