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COVID has completely reshaped how we interact with others in public spaces through social distancing. these changes can even be seen in the adjustments in design and layout by businesses that remained open throughout the pandemic.

The open office design grew in popularity over the course of the 20th century, moving from the endless rows of cubicles and desks that characterizes a stereotypical office space. In this time, companies have made a great effort to create more inviting, comfortable workplaces. Modern furniture, warm colors, large open spaces, and plant installations offer a stark contrast to a cubicle farm. These spaces are designed to boost worker morale, be ergonomically correct, and create an environment of collaboration among employees.

As we all know, COVID has completely reshaped how we interact with others in public spaces through social distancing. And these changes can even be seen in the changes in design and layout for businesses that remained open throughout the pandemic. Physical barriers between patrons and employees, such as manufactured by Panel Built, are being used in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. As a communicable disease, these barriers help stop COVID-19 droplets from spreading.

Generally, in an open office environment, employees will not find themselves more than 6 feet away from one another. Like employees in grocery stores and restaurants, those in an office environment could wear a face mask. However, with employees working 8+ hours a day, many will likely elect to do without it, for better or worse. If these social distancing guidelines are not followed, an open office environment could be at a great risk environment to spread the virus throughout the company. Take for example the case of a call center in South Korea. The 11th floor of the call center housed 216 employees; 94 of the 216 employees were found positive for COVID-19 over 16 days. The majority of the infected employees were sitting in close proximity to one another.

For companies looking to transform their open office space into a more COVID-19 friendly design, Panel Built's modular wall systems offer a flexible, semi-permanent way to divide up your exiting office space. With our panelized wall system, Panel Built can create a fully-custom, personal offices. By completely closing off the workspace with a Panel Built wall panel system, employees can reduce the exposure to aerosolized COVID-19. These office systems have been implemented into commercial and educational facilities across the United States and are designed to be quickly installed and fit into the office's existing aesthetic.

Unlike a thin, clear Plexiglas shield, Panel Built's wall systems actually provide all the same advantages that come along with a personal office space. Rather than being stuck behind a plastic sheet that provides no advantages other than being a sneeze guard, employees can feel comfortable in their own space.

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