Facilities managers are given every new idea to help stop the spread of infection in commercial buildings, installing new fixtures, testing social distance solutions, filling the air around themselves with disinfectants, etc.
At every turn, COVID-19 has transformed the role of facilities personnel. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely necessary to take precautions and to keep everyone in the building safe at all times.
But are we falling short in other areas because the next idea in disease prevention must be acted upon?
The days of scorching heat are behind us in many areas of the country, and we are now looking ahead to weeks of mild weather. I recommend getting outside and putting energy into creating a warm and welcoming environment to seed positivity into the minds of people stepping into your building.
Encouraging outdoor workspaces
School and office buildings may present the opportunity to spend time outdoors. Connecting with nature has shown positive results with increasing productivity and wellness, according to multiple sources.
Specifying outdoor furniture can help to encourage social distancing, especially if the indoor building space is limited. On Aug. 24 schools in New York City were finally given approval for outdoor learning, and cited that COVID-19 does not appear to spread as effectively outside to support the new transition.
The transition to outdoor learning could also mitigate the risks of old buildings with poor air circulation, windows that cannot open, and faulty ventilation systems, the report says. Plus, teachers, especially those who have compromised immune systems, have spoken favorably of outdoor learning.
For building managers, exploring possibilities with outdoor work environments should include giving attention to the current landscaping plan. Giving new life to your building’s surrounding outdoor areas will not only make outdoor workspaces more enjoyable, but it also helps to make the building appear warmer and more inviting.
Building managers who are looking to encourage outdoor work can improve upon outdoor features, including the types of plants surrounding the area, to provide increased productivity to building occupants. There are also wellness benefits to being outdoors, with trees and nature in abundance.
Ensure that outdoor water features are receiving the attention they need. When debris begins accumulating in the water feature or a build-up becomes noticeable, then it starts to serve the opposite of its intended purpose by becoming an eyesore.
As leaves begin to fall in the coming autumn months, clearing debris from the water feature may become a more frequent task. If organic matter in the water causes a discoloration, then add activated carbon to clear the water.
Check the water pump to ensure proper water flow. At times, it may be necessary to remove the pump and clear out any material on the screen at the bottom of the pump.
There are opportunities available for everyone in the building to get outside and take advantage of the benefits of outdoor workspaces, which even includes reduced stress. Practicing social distancing indoors, especially in smaller buildings, presents building managers with the major challenge of developing a solution that will keep everyone separated.
Creating a great outdoor work environment for everyone will enhance employee experiences. Find the features and products that will work with the lifestyle that your building facilitates in order to begin the transition to the outdoors.