top of page
Workplace Design & Build in Aberdeen


  • Writer's pictureMark Dellaquaglia

A 'Social' Return to Work

Unsurprisingly, we've been tasked with space planning a safe return to work arrangement for our clients in the oil & gas sector.

In these unprecedented and potentially disruptive times for all businesses, it's a positive sign that there are still projects out there requiring new work, especially projects as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here, our task is simple. Take the existing repetitive pod of 6 desks and make it work, maintaining social distancing of 2m, whether that be by retaining the existing layout, or reconfiguring the layout with less desks.

Our first pass identified the impact of 2m distancing on the existing layout, whilst also reducing the desks in occupation to 50%. Note how the desk nearest the office walkway risks people walking by coming within 2m of the occupant. This can be overcome with a suitably positioned screen, high storage tambours or even a permanent partial partition.

The second plan reduces the desks to 4 per bay, however we've also established that the desks require to be at 50% occupancy, a reduction of 1 occupiable desk per bay.

Noting the red overlap areas on the 6-pod layout, which are at 2m distance per person, these are a risk when colleagues from the same bay walk by.

In order to be fully compliant and maintain a 2m space throughout, then we reconfigure to a 4-desk pod, adjust the positions to provide a 600mm walkway past the inner desk, thereby maintaining the required 2m spacing.

'Return to Work' space planning should form part of any business risk assessment

Ultimately, the client is responsible for the health and safety of its staff, and this form of interim space planning should form part of any return to work risk assessment. It also requires due consideration to the potential length of time that these measures will be in place - if you can continue with the bulk of your staff working from home, then it makes sense to maintain that arrangement until we can all return to work unrestricted.

At Albyn Design & Build, we are assisting our clients with Return to Work space planning and risk assessments. If you think this is a service you could value, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

284 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page