Navigating the Redefined Workplace: 4 Tips for Signage Post-Covid-19
Businesses across North America are preparing to re-open their doors safely and with precaution. As we begin to return to a new normal, organizations must not discount the anxiety that many of us may feel as we navigate change and uncertainty.
According to the Government of Canada’s Canadian Perspectives Survey from April 2020, 29% of us opted to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With businesses looking at reopening, and many of us returning to the office after months of working from home, it’s a natural response to feel concern about health and safety. The same survey reported that 54% of respondents are “very” or “extremely” anxious about the health of their loved ones, and 36% of are concerned for their own. It also doesn't help our anxiety that when doors finally do reopen, we won't be returning to “business as usual”.
Now is the time to rethink the way we approach processes, interactions and space in the workplace. With a clear plan in place, you can mitigate risk and instill confidence in your employees and customers. For all businesses, an integral part of that plan will include reassessing physical spaces to determine where there are opportunities to provide direction with signage.
Following are four best practices for redesigning your workplace using signage and wayfinding that informs and promotes health and safety:
1) Use signage that integrates into the design of your workspace
The design of your signs plays a critical role in creating a safe and comforting space. Many off-the-shelf signs feature bright colour palettes and alarming messages, making an indoor space feel like a construction zone – not exactly the welcoming feeling you’re trying to convey to your employees and guests.
Shifting colours and tone of voice to match the design of your space and integrate well with your brand can give those in your workplace a sense of belonging and comfort. Swapping out red for more neutral or complementary colours will create a more relaxed atmosphere, while still illustrating an important message.
Using the examples below, the message is equally effective, but the tone, colour and even the shape evoke very different emotions.
2) Think about the customer and employee experience first
How do your customers and employees move through your space? Mapping out the journey visitors take when navigating your space will help you identify where it may be challenging to practice physical distancing. This can include high-traffic areas such as cash registers, office kitchens or public restrooms.
Once you’ve mapped the journey, it’s much easier to imagine the signage applications and hygiene equipment you’ll need. For example, you may want to install one-way directional signage in tight hallways, maximum capacity signs on elevator doors, or “stand here” decals where visitors tend to form lineups. If you have taken the time to consider these problem areas and have implemented solutions, your customers and employees will feel more relaxed as they navigate your space.
3) Consider both long-term and short-term scenarios
Many businesses are feeling a sense of urgency to get back up and running quickly, but it’s also important to consider how our redefined workplace plans will evolve over time and meet organizational needs in the long term. After all, it’s highly possible that physical distancing measures and hygiene awareness will remain prominent in society for years to come.
While you consider signage applications, remember that that they may need to remain in your space for years to come. Be sure to balance your short-term needs with long-term insights when choosing your signage so you can make sure it's not only effective now but will integrate into your space in the future.
4) Choose Quality Applications and Materials
Once you have identified where you can integrate signage strategically into your workspace, you may find yourself overwhelmed with options for materials and applications. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for — and that holds true for signage materials.
Many businesses are using adhesive applications such as floor, window or wall decals throughout their space. Though off-the-shelf products may appear to be cost effective, they often lack in quality. Always look for non-damaging and removable adhesive products that are easy to apply and just as easy to remove, avoiding any damage to your space. Also consider that floor decals must always be printed on a non-slip vinyl for the safety of your guests.
Are you in search of solutions for reopening your workspace? Our Redefined Workplace Signage Program has been developed to provide you with the tools you need prepare for a changed business landscape and reopen your doors with confidence. Learn more about the program by clicking below.