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    Phone booth workstations: fad accelerated by COVID-19


    Posted by Bill Herndon


    Posted on 15th Jun 2020 in Cubicles, Open Office Furniture

    Tall-workstations

    The Bay Area is slowly but surely regaining some semblance of normalcy in the wake of coronavirus. Of course that comes with caveats. Golf courses were allowed to reopen on May 4. But restrictions and rules vary depending on jurisdiction. ABC-7 reported that Napa County golf courses are turning cups upside down to prevent players from having to grab the flags. They have also removed rakes from bunkers and removed ball washers, to prevent people from touching them. Childcare facilities, car washes and other industries have their own "new normal" procedures as well.

    Shelter-in-place orders ended for most all businesses on June 5. Some workers are still telecommuting, with others still furloughed and awaiting word of their returns. Work is returning to the Bay Area. But offices are going to look and feel different when people finally return to their regular work schedules.

    Open office furniture has been extremely popular, particularly in the tech sector, for the last decade. Many companies adopted these layouts to encourage collaboration and remove barriers (walls) that insinuate borders and territory between workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has many companies rethinking these layouts not only for employee safety, but also to comply with any and all government directives upon reopening. The good news is that open office workstations can be quickly retrofitted to ensure the well-being of workers.

    Plexiglass is the new open office

    The open office fad spawned many small companies that make pre-fabricated pods. Some call their products micro-offices. Others refer to them as nouveau cubicles. A market existed for these products because open office layouts completely eliminated quiet and privacy in most offices. The primary issue is cost. Each of these workstations run upwards of $10,000 each, a very expensive novelty. Bay Area companies need immediate solutions in anticipation of reopening.

    Plexiglass safety barriers provide immediate, affordable, efficient protection. These "sneeze guards" are completely customizable. They can be tall enough to place barriers between sitting workers, or can extend several feet to facilitate standing. They also come in various style. Some companies want translucent polycarbonate that provides both privacy and protection. Those wanting to preserve elements of open office culture choose transparent plexiglass.

    There are also choices related to installation. Your existing cubicles can be retrofitted with plexiglass sneeze guards in a matter of 5-7 days, depending on volume. There's also the option of portable sneeze guards. These can be moved around the office as necessary to facilitate certain operations. The possibilities are endless.

    Divide and conquer

    Smaller Bay Area offices want flexibility when it comes to compliance with COVID-19 mandates. A very popular solution is office partitions. Portable walls are placed between workstations to create barriers and facilitate social distancing. Office partitions create de-facto private offices for every worker. They also provide peace of mind in the era of COVID-19.

    Eco Office has been providing essential services throughout the shelter-in-place directives. We are retrofitting cubicles with plexiglass safety barriers in offices across all nine Bay Area counties. We are currently taking appointments for space planning and installation, with turnaround times ranging from 5-7 days. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to discuss your reopening plans.

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