Workspaces are all different. Some have plenty of room to stretch out before you might come into contact with a colleague while others are very cramped. Few commercial kitchens will allow you to have a two-metre gap maintained between every employee, for example. There again, in offices, you might choose to use only half of your available workstations so that workers can keep a significant gap between them. In short, it all comes down to the particular context of each and every workspace.
Bear in mind, too, that one workspace at your business premises may be very different to another. A place of work might have lots of room in a production facility but much less space in the boardroom, for example. For this reason, one-size-fits-all solutions for promoting social distancing rarely work. What you need is something bespoke and that often means the right sort of signage.
The Role of Signage in Social Distancing
Although, in many ways, the world has become accustomed to social distancing rules, they still need to be reinforced. This is particularly so in workspaces where the very nature of some tasks will encourage people to move closer together. Perhaps colleagues need to look at something together or to come within earshot so they can be heard. Maybe some tasks, like lifting things, need two people.
What signage does in this regard is perfectly straightforward, if effective. It does not stop people from moving close together but it reminds them that they should minimise such close contact. In addition, it will help people to help themselves, for example, by indicating a preferred route from one side of the workspace to the other so that people don’t bump into one another. There again, you might want signage that helps people to limit their time in one place, such as at the photocopier or the break-out area, so that other workers get the opportunity to make use of them, too.
Types of Signage That Promote Social Distancing
Numerous signage solutions can be deployed to help with social distancing measures. A prime example would be pull-up banners which can be used indoors and outdoors. Because they are self-supporting, you can put them anywhere and move them easily. Ideal for entrances and reception areas, they can be used to indicate temporary one-way systems and the ideal distance people should keep apart. There again, wall-mounted signage can also be used to support social distancing, perhaps with co-branding to reinforce a company’s image. The major difference is that this type of signage is fixed in place.
Another flexible option is to deploy strut cards. These are great in retail and service settings because they can be taken down within seconds to accommodate changes in customer numbers. They are also good in offices if you have nests of desks where only certain ones will be operational. Again, strut cards can support social distancing by serving as a simple aide-mémoire or to reinforce particular rules in certain parts of your workspace, such as the number of people who may enter a toilet block at the same time, for example.
Overall, deploying signage and floor stickers to promote social distancing rules is a cost-effective solution. It could help to prevent the spread of disease and also make workers feel more comfortable about their return to the workplace, both of which can only be regarded as positive outcomes.