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Preparing your office for the return to work post-lockdown

With the Government’s new roadmap in place and restrictions gradually beginning to lift, many employees will be returning to the office, after nearly a year of working from home. With hygiene anxiety at an all-time high, it is vitally important that staff feel comfortable and safe whilst at work. Employers must plan for the return to the workplace in a way that prioritises the health and wellbeing of their employees - this means adapting the office to maximise cleanliness and meet ever-changing social distancing guidelines. But how?

When reviewing the workplace, an important first step is to consider whether there is enough room for staff to maintain an appropriate distance between one another upon their return to work. This applies both to desk areas and communal areas, such as canteens or kitchens. One way to increase physical distance is to implement staggered hours, or cohorts, so only a small group of staff are in the office at one time. Where this isn’t possible, intelligent furniture arrangement can help maximise office floorspace.

As specialists in the production and supply of decorative laminate and Melamine faced chipboard (MFC) panels, MFL has all of the materials needed to create high-quality and easy-to-maintain office furniture. Our panels are ideal for a variety of office furniture, including desks, boardroom tables, reception units, storage, and seating. Sleek and customisable, the size, finish, and colour of our panels can be changed to suit the needs of your office. For those in need of additional furniture or desk space, panel sizes can be adjusted to accommodate social distancing measures and layout changes in your office.

Once you have mastered the intelligent layout and operational challenges that you will initially encounter, you should consider carrying out a deep-clean before reopening the office doors. Offering PPE, such as masks, antiviral cleaning wipes and hand gel will also help minimise the spread of infection within the workplace. Reviewing your ongoing cleaning schedule to match the new hygiene expectations is also advised to ensure employees feel supported and safe. Installing antibacterial surfaces, such as our hardwearing antibacterial grade laminate, can offer further protection and peace of mind - as well as being easy to clean.

If your business involves regularly speaking with customers and clients, it may be wise to install glass distancing screens to encourage and remind both visitors and staff of the need for social distancing whilst simultaneously allowing communication and engagement. When floor space is limited, these glass screens can also be used between desks as an extra layer of protection for employees. Having hand sanitizer available at each desk and open windows for improved ventilation will also help make your office more Covid-secure and your staff feel protected and safe.

In summary, some staff are bound to feel nervous about the return to work after, in some cases, spending more than a year away from the office. Making changes to your workplace to accommodate for social distancing and health and safety measures once offices reopen, will let your employees know that their safety is a top priority. Creating a thorough return-to-work plan and maintaining a clean, spacious work environment will help ease the transition from remote working back into the office, meaning employees can settle back with confidence.

For further guidance on how to prepare your office for the return to work post-lockdown, keep up to date with government and public health guidance. If you would like to order laminate or MFC panelling or our robust glass distancing screens, contact us at or give us a call at 024 7662 1122.

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