Making Offices Safer for Workers

While many Americans will continue working from home indefinitely, businesses are learning how to make their offices safer in light of the pandemic. Designers, engineers, and software companies are gearing up to ensure that office workers have a safe environment and alleviate their concerns about viral transmission.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Zach Vaughan, a European realtor, said, “The critical task employers have is to build confidence among their employee base that their offices are safe.”

Among the innovations implemented to reduce viral transmission are self-flushing toilets, UV-light disinfection systems, and quarantine rooms if anyone falls sick, says the Journal. A French architectural and landscape company is designing “plant-based social distancing solutions.” Fully automated doors, trash cans and cabinets that operate by foot pedals, and improved air filtration are other ways businesses are improving their workspace to gain the confidence of their workers.

One of the most popular back-to-business apps is Comfy, developed by German industry giant Siemens. The company has updated its program to help businesses track workspace social distancing and other safety procedures, according to CNN. The app allows employees to summon the elevator via their cell phone to request a floor so nobody has to touch any buttons.

Joseph Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said that efforts to make buildings safe was long overdue even before the pandemic, according to the Journal.

“What this virus is exposing is that our buildings aren’t designed for human health first,” he said, adding that a healthy office has now become a priority in order for businesses to function.

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