Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has launched a new office design concept, Six Feet Office, comprising a new social distancing programme developed by the firm and being piloted in the Netherlands.
The idea is part of a raft of guidelines being rolled out by the firm's Recovery Readiness Task Force (RRTF) to lead the development of best practices, products and partnerships to prepare clients for a post-COVID-19 recovery phase.
'The virus will dictate when we can eventually return to places of work and commerce, but the time to prepare is now,' said John Forrester, president of Cushman & Wakefield and executive chair of the RRTF. 'We’re mobilising our top thought leaders and experts, drawing on their experience in areas like workplace innovation and strategy, design and build, facilities management, commercial cleaning protocols, data and technology and research.'
The RRTF plans to shortly release a toolkit with step-by-step protocols for tenants and landlords across the industry as they begin planning the transition back to the workplace.
This effort will build on best practices from Cushman & Wakefield’s experience in China, where the firm is already moving 10,000 companies and nearly a million workers back into more than 1,000 buildings through a joint venture with Vanke Service.
'We’re applying our learnings from Asia so our clients will be well-educated and prepared for the eventual return to the workplace,' Forrester added.
Alongside Forrester, the RRTF will bring together the skills of executives from around the world, from Bruce Mosler, chairman, global brokerage, who will lead in coordinating private practices to public policy; to Paul Bedborough, chief executive, C&W Services, who will focus on Covid-19 related commercial maintenance and cleaning.
Jeroen Lokerse, head of Netherlands, will deliver build-out innovation from C&W Design & Build, the firm’s team of office architects and designers. Meanwhile, chief digital officer Adam Stanley will focus on data-driven best practices, while Jason Tolliver, head of new commerce research, is expected to bring perspective on retail and industrial real estate research for landlords impacted by e-commerce.
The new design concept, Six Feet Office, is currently being tested at Cushman & Wakefield’s Amsterdam office.
It comprises elements that include a unique foot traffic routing for each office to ensure employees maintain the recommended six feet apart for social distancing, with additional features such as clear shields between workstations and a suggested set of simple rules of conduct to meet crisis guidelines.