Posted on 14 January 2021

Categories: Opinion

Working in your pyjamas or conference calls in your lounge have become common place. We have all had to adjust. In April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment worked at home at some point, and 86% percent of those, did so as a result of Covid-19*. But how ready are we to change back to the pre-lockdown protocols and the carnage of the commute? While some staff have really embraced the freedom to work from home, many are still worried about the virus and feel vulnerable in the work-space environment. Is office-based working a thing of the past, or do we need to reassess and react to how employees feel about their time at work?


It is fantastic news that a vaccine has been approved and is currently being administered, but until we are all protected and virus-free restrictions will still be in place. So how can confidence be restored for staff returning to work after #lockdown and how can the return to the office be made more appealing?



It’s time to think beyond the A4 laminated sheets. Social distancing may be around for many more months, so let’s get on brand, tailor your message and make a statement in a considered and sympathetic way that will work with your company’s tone of voice. Consistent on-brand messaging for your Covid office signage will reassure employees that it is being taken seriously. It’s important to communicate with staff and tell them what you’re doing to ensure their safety within the workplace, and also outline what you need them to do, to create a united approach to prevent the spread of the virus.





Social contact is considered the most effective way to transmit the virus so it important there is plenty of space between people. Encourage social distancing as soon as they enter the office and provide reminders around the workplace. Move the desks apart and make more space between them to reduce crowding. But this doesn’t have to look sparse and uninviting. Get creative with Covid office zoning sections of the office or make a feature of a new dividing panel. There are lots of versatile solutions that will deliver a socially distanced environments.

  • Introduce covid office signage to remind people to keep a 2m distance
  • Maximum room occupancy door decals
  • Clear acrylic screens between desks for face-face workers
  • Acoustic hanging panels to combat the echo and divide work areas
  • Autex Cove desk dividers in a choice of 17 colours and three different styles




It’s wise to reduce direct meetings at this time and use a more digital format. Whether you Zoom, Hangout, FaceTime or you’re a Team player, businesses are keen to keep up the professional appearance within the aperture of their laptop camera. Whilst there are a plethora of digital backdrops from the beach to New York City, to hide your magnolia walls or bedroom curtains, perhaps there’s a better option…

If you’re a customer facing business then there are wide range of acrylic counter screens to protect your staff and these can be customised to suit your brand.





If your business is likely to experience queues or large numbers of people then it’s a good time to invest in barriers and dividers and encourage them to socially distance. There are a wide range of systems available from simple rope barriers, retractable belt barriers and full graphic cafe barriers. Offices with overcrowding issues can specify a maximum number of people per room or areas such as canteens, lifts or meeting rooms. If the message is staff-facing then you can enjoy the freedom to be a little more relaxed and informal with your tone of voice.





When the dust finally settles and staff return to work in some form or another, the office may feel an unfamiliar place. It raises an opportunity to transform the walls and make the space feel welcoming and motivating. It could be an ideal time to take advantage of the empty office and make it an environment people want to spend time in when they return. From a lick of paint to a revamped canteen and social area, there are a wide range of solutions to suit all budgets. Looking for ideas and wondering where to start? Take a look at our Office Branding page, browse through our Case Studies for some inspiration or give us a call to discuss your space on 0845 862 0322.




The Health and Safety Executive is currently carrying out spot checks and inspections on all types of UK businesses in all areas to ensure they are COVID-secure. Let us help you make sure that you’re ready and making every effort to keep staff and customers safe.


*Office of National statistics