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The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work. As many companies navigate returning to site, the modern workspace will need to adapt and accommodate social distancing, sanitation, and social engagement. Understanding this, SKG concluded that safety needed to start at home base.
Our showroom makeover was inspired by creating spaces that empower collaboration while enforcing our Health and Safety Protocols.
“At the heart of innovation is collaboration,” says Beth Goff-McMillan – CEO of SKG. “If you are not together ideating, how are you going to innovate?”
In collaboration with our in-house Design Team, we began conceptualizing changes in our Austin and San Antonio showrooms to be more inclusive of the new safety measures and needs of our staff upon their return. After spending three months working from home, we strove to create an easy transition for our team as they returned to the workspace. Creature comforts and accessibility were key factors in evolving our space.
“We quickly discovered that social distancing measures, work from home and lifestyle settings had real staying power and would become important to our team and our clients in a big way,” says Christie Sidler, Director of Design. “As we re-entered our own space, we wanted it to reflect the current needs of a workplace – whether in an office or at home.”
Through our research, we knew that safe collaboration areas and private spaces would be essential additives to our space. These spaces would accommodate the need for social engagement, focused individual work, and the ability to step away if needed. Spaces such as these would strategically adhere to social distancing protocols and our own Health and Safety initiatives.
“We pivoted to a free-address workspace to allow more flexibility for those who might need more or less privacy, we took down unoccupied workstations to create more meeting spaces, and identified clear signage in each room noting max occupancy in order to keep everyone safe,” says Christie.
Take a look at some of our redesigned spaces!
This is our safety check-point! Here, our staff and visitors are required to check in before entering the showroom. In this space, everyone will receive a temperature check and an opportunity to sanitize before joining others within the building.
Before, this space was a semi-private offices fit for two people. Now, our Design Team has created a dynamic collaboration space with comfort in mind. Perfect for maintaining proper social distancing while also having the technological requirements of a regular office space!
These collaboration areas were originally designed for five or six people. Now, three people can work safely and comfortably in this area throughout the day.
Our workstations are now prepared to comply with social distancing protocols by separating staff 6ft or more. What once maximized productivity for more than 70 people, will now provide a safe and effective work place for 50% of our staff.
Here, our design team expanded their original workspace by removing four small hotel stations to make room for more storage and a small break area for their team.
Our talented design team worked tirelessly to provide a workplace that, not only showcased our superior furniture solutions, but also kept our team safe and healthy for months to come.
“The work from home model will be more readily leveraged moving forward and allow for historically dedicated spaces at the office to be transformed to more informal, multi-use ancillary areas where people can safely gather,” says Christie as she shares her thoughts on how the changes we made in our showroom will be reflected in future space concepts.
As we gaze confidently into the future, we can see that safety in the workplace is not a sprint but a marathon. SKG has prepared our showroom with sustainable safety solutions and flexibility for the days to come.
SKG understands from own experience that preparing your space for the safe return of your team can be challenging. We are here to take that from your plate so you can push the next phases of your business forward. We can help with create turnkey return-to-site plans for your employees, identifying safe occupancies for your collaborative spaces, and so much more.
A small tip from our Director of Design: find a signature piece or space that embodies the spirit of your business. Christi adds “I just LOVE the Vagabond table from Scandinavian Spaces on our showroom floor. It is kind of a reflection of our SKG energy these days: Practical, flexible and a little quirky!”