2C — December 24, 2021 - January 20, 2022 — Industry Experts — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


Industry Experts

By Jennifer Rubin, HF Planners Signage and Wayfinding: Navigating through a “New Normal” Workplace

s your teamheading back to the office? According to a survey by a staffing and r e c r u i t i ng firm, LaSal - le Network, 74% of US businesses are bringing t h e i r em - ployees back to the office, to some ex- tent, by the end of 2021. The workplace may look different for employees re- turning and there could be Jennifer Rubin I

new protocols for entering the site, such as: • New entrances • Mask policies • Temperature readings • COVID-19 screenings and/or questionnaires • COVID-19 testing • Social distancing • Modified workstations and seating • Sanitizing stations As companies begin to plan their workplace strategies, signage and wayfinding must not be overlooked. Typically, signage is an afterthought

or does not come into play until the final phase of the project. It must be thought out and not pulled together last-minute. HF Planners, LLC recently worked with a large corpora- tion in NJ that was in the process of bringing its staff back into the office. We were tasked with developing a change management policy that identified the challenge of bringing over 800 employ- ees back safely. This restack consisted of both construction and project management

for some minor building up- grades and furniture recon- figuration to help establish protocols. Regulations such as mask mandates, daily CO- VID-19 screenings, and new entrances were put in place. During this time, we were informed that several of their staff were not following the new COVID-19 procedures. This was not on purpose as they were not aware of the new company policy. These issues can be prevented with appropriate signage, com- munication, and the support

of upper management. The majority of companies tend to rely on mass email communications and town halls to broadcast any chang- es to the workplace, which is a necessary formality. How- ever, such communications should not be the only avenue for possible new mandates when returning to the office. On average, employees sift through over 100 emails a day. An informative email detailing new steps on return- ing to the office can and will be easily forgotten. Signage to be considered should include: • Navigational signage pointing to any new entry- ways, including re-directional signage at previous entry points. • Clear signage for new protocols and/or processes at entry areas • Signage throughout work - space areas acting as remind- ers for new protocols • Utilizing display monitors in lobbies and open spaces as a green alternative • Signage for sanitizing stations •Workstation QR code tags for book-a-space software • Updated meeting room and workstation signage Proper signage will al- leviate any confusion for new COVID-19 protocols and processes for returning employees, new hires, and visitors. Professional signage in visible locations can alert and prompt people of any new guidelines. All signage should be clear, logical, and eye-catching. Incorporating company branding should also be considered. HF Planners, LLC is a full- service interior design firm where we strive for excellence when designing, planning, and managing facilities. Our designers and project man- agers are here to help you navigate this new world from A to Z. Whether it’s building a proper signage package that meets your needs, connecting you to vendors, or creating the change management process. Contact us today for a facility assessment to see how we can optimize your workplace and steer you out of that headache! Jennifer Rubin is an interior designer with HF Planners, LLC. MAREJ

Finding Your Way Back to the Office When your team is returning to the office, signage and wayfinding is key when establishing new protocols. The team at HF Planners, LLC can help implement proper signage for your office to alleviate any confusion employees may have and improve the chance that new protocols will be followed.

3322 US22-W, Suite 1005 • Branchburg, NJ 08876 908.393.9984 • www.hfplanners.com Facility Planning • Facility Design • Facility Management

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