Colliers International has created an Office Social Distancing Calculator to indicate how many usable workstations will be available after introducing distancing protocols. It notes that almost eight million people will be unable to return to the office once the UK Government lifts its COVID-19 lockdown measures:
- 60 per cent of the country’s 11.8 million desks will be unusable when a six foot gap between staff is introduced meaning 7.8 million people will have to continue working from home daily.
- Small meeting rooms are likely to be turned into temporary individual offices. Larger meeting room capacities will be slashed in order to enable employees to maintain a physical distance from each other.
- Organisations will need to consider redesigning their office space with banks of four desks, as opposed to the normal six or eight desks
Jan Jaap Boogaard, head of Colliers’ Workplace Advisory Services in EMEA says: “Office workers will continue to face personal challenges, as they juggle childcare commitments, underlying health conditions; those who have vulnerable people within their household may still need to maintain isolation measures; and many that live with frontline workers.
“Commuting throws up another massive issue for office workers especially in large cities - London, Manchester, Birmingham - that rely on a high percentage of commuters. It’s going to be easier to navigate for employers and employees in smaller cities where you can walk, cycle or drive to your office more easily. That’s before we even look at workplace health, safety and wellbeing, which a is a primary priority for many businesses that occupy office space.”