With the Government revealing a new road map to normality, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. But the question remains – how will we return to work safely? With the all-important COVID risk assessment ahead, what measures can be put in place to help prepare as your team consider returning to site? One solution could be workplace bubbles…

How to create workplace bubbles

Return to work

Introducing the workplace bubble...

So why could forming workplace bubbles be a way forward? When it comes to COVID-19 risk management, the UK has seen success with the formation of bubbles elsewhere in society such as between groups of school children. Not only does this allow for easier tracing, but also assists in containing any potential outbreaks before they spread further allowing for business continuity. With 2/3 of workers anxious about returning to the office*, help put your team’s mind at ease by introducing your very own bubble system. But how could it work?

Think space first:

With most of the UK practicing social distancing for the past year, we are well versed in keeping our distance from others and space should be top of mind when it comes to your coronavirus risk assessment. Ensure your workspace allows for social distancing to help keep your team two meters apart. Arranging desks with space in mind to allow people to work side by side and introducing screens where they must work face to face is a great place to start. Invest in some heavy-duty tape to mark the floors to allow one-way systems and clear differentiation between bubbles to help your team navigate their revised workspace.

Cleanliness is key:

Practicing good hygiene has never been more important and your team should be offered the chance to clean their hands as much as possible. Try placing hand sanitisers in key places around the office such as next to coffee and vending machines, on desks and near stationary cupboards. Want to ensure handwashing is top of mind? Try downloading posters to display around the office.** Ensure the office and communal spaces are cleaned regularly – and as for your office vending machines, with our low contact hot drinks machines, cleaning your vending machines has never been simpler!

Stagger breaktimes:

Once you have established which departments will form bubbles, help them distance from each other by avoiding congregation in communal areas. Why not stagger breaktimes and avoid lunchtime queues by creating a rota? Or perhaps create additional break rooms to allow everyone to space out and get their well-deserved break? Underused meeting rooms or old hot desk spots can be transformed into the perfect DIY break room! Simply set up chairs at a safe distance and have a hand fillable coffee machine on hand for refreshment.

Reduce office traffic:

So breaktimes are sorted, but what about the hot drinks machines themselves? How can we avoid the inevitable gathering around the coffee machine? Where you may have larger free-standing hot drinks machines in areas such as the canteen and break rooms, when it comes to the rest of your office why not try a different approach. Placing smaller table-top coffee machines strategically across the office helps to disperse your team and give everyone the crucial space they need without leaving their bubble. Our larger free-standing hot drinks machines coffee machines are perfect for workplace bubbles and can be plumbed in or hand filled – perfect for setting up wherever there is a plug!

Embrace the power of technology:

2020 put technology and the digital world firmly on the map. With many of us using video calls as alternatives to in person meetings and online sales at a 13-year high***, why not bring your vending machines into the post-COVID world through the power of technology? Make paying for your drinks with coins a thing of the past with a contactless payment reader. Or do away with buttons with distance selection technology!

Safety first:

Remember, the current UK Government advice is that you should work from home wherever possible. Although some employees may be desperate to get back to the office, it is important to follow the most recent Government guidelines to protect your team, their families and our NHS. For the most recent advice, please refer to the below links:

For England

For Scotland

For Wales