Will we see Sneeze Guards in the Office?
By - Daniel Green
The expeditated rollout of sneeze guards, cut to size Perspex® , and Plexiglas® screens into supermarkets, chemists and other retailers within weeks of COVID commencing, made the feeling of dealing with someone from behind a clear plastic shield quickly normal. Essential retail, such as grocery stores and petrol stations never shut down, never had staff WFH, and thus needed to protect staff from COVID immediately. COVID safety was not something they could wait for, businesses needed a hygiene screen protecting staff from customers in place immediately, during the fastest most critical phase of the pandemic. Staff felt comfortable behind a cut to size custom acrylic screen or a Plexiglas® barrier or Perspex® partition and so did customers on the other side.
We are used to seeing this in retail but not in other workplaces. To get staff back to the office and restart our stalled economy, similar active measures will soon proliferate throughout offices. Returning staff should expect to see desk guards, cut to size Perspex® and other Plexiglas® screens installed for their hygiene. The clear plastic barrier will definitely reduce the open plan feeling of the office somewhat, but are a far cry from the high office partitions that used to divide up offices and create isolation that many found unpleasant. At least with a clear desk guard or Perspex screen staff will experience the same light and visual lines that they had before the coronavirus. Plus, the desk guard installed for hygiene has the added benefit of better privacy and noise control when on the phone. This at least is a positive side effect of the move to clear plastic panels and sneeze guards in the office.
Soon hygiene screens will be in the office