Finally, A Glimpse to the Smarter Post-Pandemic Office and COVID-safe Skyscrapers
It has been a year since the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak affected the whole world. The spread of this virus forced many countries to ban gatherings of people. Traveling was limited if not forbidden. Many countries have imposed a lockdown system in an attempt to control and flatten the curve. Most enforced strict quarantine, taking extensive hygiene protocol, social distancing, and wearing masks. While work from home was granted to most office personel, some employees just had to get back in their offices. Working is to support a living, therefore having a Covid- Safe work place is #1 priority in getting back to work. Passing the HVAC Monitoring System statewide guidelines is a hard journey for the employers. Proper HVAC monitoring system protect our office spaces and employees. It is a common knowledge that one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of a contagious respiratory diseases is to let fresh and healthy air into the building to dilute the infectious particles in the air.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic changed the Workers Routine
Almost all countries, rich and poor, have suffered economically. There was a slow growth in the manufacturing of essential goods. There are disruptions in the supply chain of products. National and international businesses also suffered losses. As such, there is a low cash flow in the market.
In an attempt to flatten the havoc of this COVID-19, many businesses have to shut down their operation. Most have to lay off many workers to prevent these workers from getting infected with the virus. Many companies have shifted to work-from-home programs. They have provided the necessary technology and equipment to do their job at their homes.
The New Era of Remote Work
During lockdowns, millions of workers shifted to remote work. Remote work helps many workers. It can solve their dilemmas in the daily morning commute, avoid traffic stuck, and many more. As such, remote work limits the movement of the people and promotes social distancing. Thereby, they are hoping to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases.
In a Pew Research Center study, only 20% of the American workforce worked from home before the pandemic outbreak. As of this moment, it shot to 71% who are currently working from home.
How does working from home changed the life of many workers?
Among these remote workers, the transition to work from home is somewhat easy. It enhances their productivity and promotes a better work-life balance. Many remote workers have shown enjoyment and preference to the work-from-home programs. This program helps them be safe from the Coronavirus while still allowing them to stay on their employment.
But, not all employed adults have the option to work from home, even during the COVID-19 outbreak. About 76% of lower-income and 63% of middle-income workers have reasoned out that working from home is impossible. The remaining percentage are those from the upper-income workers. They are those who get to do their job at the comfort of their home.
Not all who work remotely have been very productive. Barriers such as age, gender, and even parental status posed very challenging situations for those who work remotely. A whopping 32% are those currently working from home. They are reported having difficulty getting their work done without interruptions. The other 36% have somewhat problem feeling motivated to do their job.
The Impact of the Remote Work on business
Many statistics may encourage the implementation of work-from-home systems. But there were studies shown that remote employees reported higher levels of stress. Many say it is more challenging to find a work-life balance than office-based workers.
“The modern workforce is increasingly mobile, collaborative [and] dynamic, and comprises multi-generations, all with differing communication preferences,” said Stacey Epstein, CEO of Zinc. “These workers span many industries … all who represent unique challenges when it comes to staying connected while on the job.”
It is a better system to limit the number of people coming to the office. But, remote work may not be the best situation for every business. Right now, it has posed a challenge to many companies. Those who are not into work-from-home programs have to develop a post-pandemic office. Even so, it will encourage the workers to return to office-based work.
Ways Post-Pandemic Office will Look Like
It was only after a year of the COVID-19 outbreak. Businesses have been trying to adapt their offices to become more covid-safe environments. Finally, we are now getting a glimpse of these post-pandemic offices.
Kirsten Lees, a managing partner at Architect Grimshaw, says that the new working environment is airy, cleaner, and free of clutter. There is a reconfiguration in space to allow for social distancing practices. It is necessary to focus on the improvements to air ventilation systems.
According to Iain McIlwee, chief executive of the Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS), there are key features in these offices. There are partitions, screens, movable walls, and semi-permanent cases. These things have played a significant development where people are looking for breakout spaces.
As for the British Council for Offices (BCO), a post-pandemic and COVID-safe office have common features. It must have automatic doors and screen protectors. It must have touch-free devices. Also, there must be natural ventilation and humidity-level monitoring. Broader lifts for social distancing are also necessary.
Get a glimpse of the new COVID-safe Skyscrapers.
In New York City, Zero Irving Building by RAL Companies & Affiliates will welcome its tenants later this year. This building features touchless experiences for employees. They won’t touch anything from the moment they step on the front door and go their way to their desk.
“It’s a completely touchless experience for visitors to the building,” said Spencer Levine, president of RAL Companies. “Not only is this great for public health, but it also aids in the efficiency of how the building operates.”
There was another new office building developed by Columbia Property Trust (CXP). It is designed to give people the confidence to work at the office. It is important to know that it was the best, healthiest, and safest post-pandemic office.
The Touchless Technology
Coronavirus is an air-borne infectious disease. It exists infrequently touched surfaces. In as much as possible, touching objects must be avoided. Workers would not want to touch any surface or object that might contain the Coronavirus. In Zero Irving, workers can enter the building using an app on their phones. This is a touchless technology app. This app will allow door opening. It is automatic. It can manipulate elevators. It helps workers get around the building. These are all possible without touching any heavily populated surfaces.
Implementation of Outdoor Spaces
Coronavirus can be transmitted through the air. As such, the post-pandemic offices have to develop ways to improve the quality of air. Post-pandemic offices and skyscrapers are designing outdoor spaces such as terraces. Since the virus is far less transmittable in outdoor areas, terraces offer to be the idea. It can contribute significantly to the wellness of their tenants. It improves the productivity of the workers by having green and natural views. The natural light brought by terraces can also do wonders in the energy saving of the building.
The 799 Broadway, also in New York City, has built terraces on nearly every floor. The outdoors and a lot of natural light can induce productivity and boost the wellness of many workers.
A skyscraper in Brooklyn includes 10% outdoor air in its ventilation. This great skyscraper is 141 Willoughby Street which Savanna developed. That’s a shooting 77% increase of the outdoor air code in New York City. According to Cooper Kramer, Managing Director at Savanna, there would be a louver system. This system will be installed on each floor. It can also increase the outside air by another 30%.
An Emphasis on Air Quality
As a COVID-safe office, it is vital to give importance to the air quality. It will help reduce the exposure to airborne infectious diseases – such as Coronavirus. With these, HVAC Monitoring System plays a lot in making these skyscrapers and post-pandemic offices safer. Air conditioning systems are useful in pushing air particles. Thus, better air quality will be more effective in stopping the spread of COVID particles.
With this in mind, developers have to improve the HVAC System in these great skyscrapers. Existing buildings have to focus on the redevelopment of the building’s HVAC System. One of these is adopting a technology that can reduce the possibility of Coronavirus exposure.
The newest technology in the HVAC System is the Bipolar ionization and MERV 13 filters. This technology is highly recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Air filters and air cleaners had to be implemented strictly. It will reduce possible exposure to Coronavirus and other airborne diseases.
At Zero Irving Building, one key feature is the upgrading of the air ventilation system at the tenants’ option. Tenants have the opportunity to install high-grade MERV air filters and bipolar ionization systems. The building also allows new air quality monitoring stations not just on the whole building but also on every floor.
The Sterling Bay is the first property certified by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). It is a significant developer in Chicago that has achieved the WELL Health-Safety Rating. This rating system assessed a particular property in response to the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included are as a preparation of the safe return of workers to the office-based environment.
The Importance of HVAC Monitoring
It is crucial to improve and maintain the air quality in any post-pandemic and COVID-safe offices. It is necessary to have an HVAC monitoring system in its maintenance. A Wireless Tunnel HVAC Monitoring System by AKCP has excellent penetration. It can pass through within buildings and obstructions caused by partitions and screen protectors. This monitoring system helps ensure good air quality that can promote better and COVID-safe offices.
To start developing your office into a post-pandemic and better, healthier, and safer environment, request a Quotation from the AKCP experienced sales staff.