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How installing protective screens around the office benefits your business

Written by MS
24/08/2020 12:00:46

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown have demonstrated how successful businesses can continue to thrive while adopting the new work-from-home norm. The move to WFH life has been so successful in some cases that some of America’s tech giants have said workers will never have to return to their office-based desk again. Twitter spearheaded the policy change back in May, and many UK-based companies have been following suit.

There are, naturally, perks to WFH-life for both employees and businesses as a whole. It offers more family-orientated time for all staff members and reduces the cost of renting/operating any office space. It’s not surprising that many SMEs in London are happy to forgo the rising costs of maintaining large workspaces. 

Nonetheless, there are still benefits to having your company working out of the same building. We could list hundreds. But the main ones are undoubtedly the ability to build a team spirit and maintain high morale through the social aspects of office life. Tea/coffee breaks are not quite the same over Zoom and, let’s face it, after so many months locked-down at home, a break from the kids isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Now, to facilitate a return to office life - whether all your employees or just a smattering will be coming back - business leaders need to make sure their workspaces are COVID-secure environments. 

The health benefits of this are obvious: you want to avoid potential outbreaks among your staff to maintain productivity levels and no one wants their employees to feel unsafe at work. Take our word for it. Here at The Plastic People, we strive to create a welcoming environment for all our returning colleagues and are allowing some to keep working remotely if need be.

Perhaps the most effective tool for creating such as a COVID-secure and inviting workspace is through the installation of protective screens. Since the turn of the 20th century and the advent of open-plan, collaborative, office spaces, dividers and cubicles have been disappearing from our workstations. This poses a hurdle when it comes to social distancing guidelines: the 2-metre rule is frankly unattainable for many of us.

Sneeze guards or protective screens do, however, mitigate the need for such stringent social distancing measures. By placing a physical barrier between workstations, you are lessening the chance of virus spread dramatically and creating a safe working environment. 

While you are more likely to see these sorts of screens employed in supermarkets, barbers and gyms, they should not be overlooked in the modern-day office. If you are looking for information about how to make your store, gym, barbershop or nail bar COVID-secure and increase footfall, check out our other blog with 7 tips on just that here

In this blog, we’re going to discuss the benefits to protective screens in the office space - which are not simply limited to health and wellbeing! COVID-19 need not destroy the open-plan offices that we are all used to, and so it’s time to start implementing measures to allow the safe return to work. 

If you are convinced by our argument here, then you best drop us a line today and purchase protective screens for your office. They’re selling fast and no other company has as big a range of different screens as we do at The Plastic People. We also offer a bespoke service, so make sure to contact our sales team if this is something of interest to you. They can be contacted at 0113 249 2222.

1. Employee confidence and safety:

It goes without saying that the primary reason for installing protective screens in your office is for safety. We all know how contagious the coronavirus is and how easily it can spread. Masks are now mandatory pieces of clothing in all shops throughout England and the 2-metre rule has been touted since March of this year. If the virus poses a real public health threat, why not protect your office and employees?

At The Plastic People, we offer two types of screen: a transparent one and a translucent polycarbonate alternative. Regardless of your choice of screen, they offer the same surefire protection for all users. Sneeze guards have been commonly used throughout the medical industries even before COVID hit because they work. There is a dramatic decrease in the chance of infection if a divider is placed between people, stopping the transfer of any droplets. 

As previously mentioned, protecting your staff has economic benefits for your business. In addition to the decreased chance of a localised outbreak on your company’s grounds, employees are likely to be more comfortable with returning to work if you are making visible progress toward creating a COVID-secure environment. The virus is invisible, but we can all make very visible steps toward protecting each other. 

2. Cost-effectiveness and durability: 

Now, while you might think making your office space COVID-secure will be a costly endeavour, it is, in fact, the opposite. The installation of protective screens let you avoid a complete design overhaul of your workspace as they can be fitted to any desks or simply left free-standing between workstations. You will avoid the economic cost of building individual cubicles or mini-offices for each employee. 

As our screens are also produced from sheet plastics, they are cheaper than glass alternatives might be. Made from 100% recyclable materials, our sneeze guards at The Plastic People are durable and will not have to be replaced for years to come. Over time, they effectively pay for themselves due to the costs they help you avoid! Acrylic plastic is 10 times stronger than glass and polycarbonate is 200 times stronger than glass - it’s a no-brainer!

At The Plastic People, we offer smaller screens that can sit atop desks for as little as £64 per screen. Our larger, translucent guards that can be fixed in place start at £118. We recently lowered our prices to make them as affordable as possible for our customers as we all need to look out for each other during these difficult times. 

The material is wiped clean so you can maintain a COVID-secure environment. Simply take some warm, soapy water and a cloth/sponge and give them a group scrub to remove any dirt or hidden virus or use antibacterial products. Key in mind, however, that come cleaning products may damage the coating on polycarbonate so do your research first!

3. Moveability and flexibility:

The third benefit to our protective screens is their weight. Plastics are in general a lot lighter than glass and other materials. This means our protective screens are simple to ship flat-packed, simple to install and simple to move after installation. 

You can fix our sneeze to desks and create a private cubicle or attach legs to have them free-standing between stations. Our protective screens can also be placed on wheels so you can move them easily from meeting room to meeting room. If your office layout changes, the protective screens can adapt without you incurring any extra costs!

We offer screens in a range of different sizes and thicknesses, this means they can fit into any space and not seem too large or small. 

This moveability also allows for more collaboration between your employees as they will not be forced to sit at one workstation all day. 

4. Fitting different working styles:

We mentioned before that we offer two types of sneeze guard: a transparent one and a translucent one. Both screens have their separate benefits in terms of their purpose in an office space. 

Transparent guards allow for creative team-work as you can clearly see and hear through them. While translucent screens add extra privacy and can be bought to slot together and form a cubicle around a desk. Take a look at them in use in our own office here at The Plastic People:

Depending on how your business operates, you might opt for one type of screen or the other. Alternatively, purchase a mixture of the two so you can have areas of your office portioned off for private work, while another area is perfectly equipped for COVID-secure group working!

While the pandemic made us retreat indoors at the start, by implementing measures such as the installation of protective screens, we can begin to return to normality. Humans are social creatures and our best ideas come when we work together to solve problems. WFH-life is a temporary solution to stemming the infection rate, but we need to think about the future and adapt to the new world we find ourselves in. Protective screens are the first step in this journey to create new and collaborative office spaces. 

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