Covid-19 has fundamentally changed urban design thinking. While most of the world goes into lockdown, office managers and business owners are reimagining their workspaces and preparing to reopen as lockdowns ease. Organizations are determining how they can adapt their offices to comply with social distancing rules.
The coronavirus has turned the working world upside down and changed how and where people do their jobs. As governments and companies move forward, minimizing the transmission of infectious disease in the workplace will be a priority. At Smart Privacy Glass, we understand how our product can enhance workplace health and safety and have been contacted by many office managers who are looking to detail smart glass in their new office plans.
While many companies are putting forth the idea of the ‘Six Feet Office’ to adhere to social distancing rules, we understand that there are issues with that rule within a closed airspace. However, putting partitions between everyone can make spaces feel claustrophobic and depressing. Open-plan working has been a major office trend for decades. COVID-19 threatens to reverse that trend with offices moving away from open-plan layouts.
Glass is an ideal solution for creating a physical barrier but not a visual one. Glass blocks respiratory droplets from sneezes and coughs and is easy to clean. Designing offices with glass partitions and walls allows businesses to maintain the connectivity of open concept plans without the contamination risk that is normally associated with them.
Furthermore, incorporating smart glass and smart film into glass office design offers the added benefit of privacy on demand. Switchable glass products go from transparent to opaque with the flick of a switch for instant privacy. This offers designers and architects unprecedented design freedom to create dynamic, multifunctional spaces.
Another design trend that is expected to boom amidst the pandemic is contactless technology. These technologies include bathroom dryers and sinks with motion sensors, automatic sliding doors, phone activated elevators and increased voice controls. This is another area where switchable glass technology can help reduce the transmission of infectious disease.
Smart glass and smart film eliminate the need for cumbersome curtains or blinds that are constantly touched and difficult to clean. Smart film adheres to the surface of existing glass, transforming it into switchable glass while smart glass contains the switchable PDLC layer laminated within the glass. Both products can be controlled via a wall switch, remote control, smartphone or voice command. For those looking to add contactless control, the voice command option via Siri or Alexa is a great choice.
Fresh air is an important part of improving air quality in offices. One of the easiest ways to allow air to circulate is to crack open a window. However, many high rises lack operable glass windows and feature glass walls with no openings. We expect to see more offices equipped with windows that can be cracked open a few inches, a trend that has already emerged in China. Fortunately, both our Smart Glass and Smart Film products can be used on operable glass windows, walls and doors without interfering with the flow of fresh air or creating unwanted noise like curtains and blinds that move in the wind.
In summary, while COVID-19 may be transforming the way we design and work, it does not need to destroy the connectivity that we enjoy in our work environments. Glass is a great way to create an office that feels bigger and brighter with ample natural light without the risks associated with open concept layouts. Contact us today for a free quote or ideas for transforming your office space.