We’ve got used to hearing the phrase the ‘new normal’ in recent weeks, something we wouldn’t have dreamed of just a few months ago.
With many businesses across the UK starting to open up, making sure that people can distance effectively while keeping your operation working properly is essential.
There are several ways that intelligent signage can help businesses and organisations open and ensure staff and customers alike are kept as safe as possible.
Most supermarkets are operating a one-way system for shoppers which normally involves putting signage on the floor. These include arrows and distancing marks, something we’ve all become familiar with. This is a relatively simple kind of signage to create but it does require a good deal of thought with regards to layout and where marks are placed.
You’ll notice in supermarkets that they have shut off access to certain areas to make sure that shoppers keep to certain places when they are going through the store. If you have an open-plan office, for example, you will need to decide whether you want a one-way system introduced so that people are better able to distance themselves.
Directional signage doesn’t have to be on the floor. It can be difficult if you have carpet or another surface and a fair amount of footfall. Hanging signage from the ceiling can be just as effective. You might also want to section off different parts of your business so, for example, only certain people are allowed access.
In addition to directional signage, you are probably going to need a good deal of instruction to keep your staff and customers informed and safe.
This could include sanitizing stations where people can clean their hands and reduce the risk of infection. You might want tailored signage for areas like the restrooms or the kitchen. That might involve reducing the facilities in a toilet or restricting the number of people in a particular area.
You might want to put instructional signage on each desk of your office to remind staff of their responsibility such as following the directional signs or making sure they wash their hands regularly.
Should Your Covid-19 Signage Be Branded?
While it’s not 100% necessary, branded signage can give your staff and customers a lift when they see it. Many businesses will have certain challenges when it comes to their operating budgets so this is going to be a personal as well as financial choice.
What is certain, however, is that this new normal is going to be with us for a good while so investing a little extra in branded signage might be worth a little more thought.
How to Plan Your Signage
A lot will depend on the size and layout of your business. For small offices, the choices will probably be self-evident. For larger businesses, a good deal of thought will need to be put into creating a safe space that is also efficient and profitable. Stores, certainly, can take a leaf out of the supermarket playbook when it comes to directional signage.
Our advice is to plan your signage well-ahead of reopening and construct a plan that you think will work. The next step is to monitor it in action and ask your staff and customers how the new arrangements are working from their point of view. This should help you make effective changes that improve efficiency while still keeping people safe.