Protective Office Screens by Dutch Invertuals for the Post-Pandemic Workplace
I don’t normally write about commercial design but I do make exceptions for really nice hotels or restaurants that have caught my eye and I’d like to visit someday. I’ve also featured the odd coworking space that has inspired me, including my own. And it is because I now own a coworking space that the topic of today’s post is particularly relevant to me.
The way we work has changed so much over the past few months with more people than ever before working remotely from home. The movement for flexible working was already in progress, but the global pandemic has accelerated it exponentially and proven to employers that staff members can be trusted to work remotely and in many cases are more productive.
Whilst many people will continue working from home moving forward, they will need to make sure they have a dedicated space that meets all their needs. They will need an ergonomic office set-up, the correct equipment that enables them to do the job well and of course, a fast and reliable internet provider so that they can work remotely.
Not everyone will be able to work from home indefinitely. There will inevitably be many cases where staff members are still required to work in the company office. So employers now have the responsibility of ensuring that those office spaces are COVID-Secure. For the most part, this means ensuring that workers can sit 2m apart and where this is not feasible, practical or possible, mitigating precautions must be adopted. This includes the use of protective office screens to keep workers safe.
I’m lucky in the fact that my coworking space is only small and the desks can easily be reconfigured to ensure that users sit 2m apart and face away from one another. However, I did start looking into protective office screens and I immediately wanted to find some that aren’t the bog standard perspex screens.
Whilst these are perfectly adequate, I was sure that design-led companies would already be stepping up to the challenge of designing protective office screens that not only protect workers, but also look good and don’t make them feel like they are working in a plastic box.
So today, I want to share with you a few of the best options that I came across. And I think you’ll agree that these protective office screens look pretty darn nice.
This series of screens and dividing partitions is called Hinoki and has been designed by Federica Biasi for Manerba Spa, an Italian company that specialises in furniture and partition walls and systems for workspaces. Manerba is a 100% Italian family-owned company run by two sisters who strongly believe in the art of living and working well.
The Hinoki screens and partitions can be freestanding if used on the ground but they can also be hooked onto a desktop. They are made from a polycarbonate semi-transparent panel held up by a metal structure with either a flat free-standing section on the ground or it can be on castors making it easily portable.
Hinoki is powder-coated in several lacquered finishes so it is easy to ensure that it chromatically coordinates with the rest of your office space. It also comes in a choice of other materials including glass, plexiglass, cork, magnetic board and wood. There is also the option of having it upholstered with fabric in order to benefit from sound-absorbing features.
In a similar vein, Glas Italia offers its SKIN partitions which are custom-sized free-standing glass screens, designed to fulfil the dual function of separation and protection. These flexible and versatile partitions offer both elegance and decorative style.
The glass is available in numerous finishes, whilst the removable bases come in brushed bronze colour painted steel and are supplied either with or without black wheels.
Also from Glas Italia is FRIEND, a free-standing counter and desk screen in 6mm tempered transparent extra-light glass. Glass has been used for its excellent aesthetic qualities and because it is a material that stands out for its hygiene as it is easy to clean and sanitize, making it particularly suitable for the post-Covid workspace.
These protective office screens come in different sizes, with or without a slot to pass documents through. They are characterised by impressive attention to detail, as seen in the bases, which are made of black lacquered wood with visible grain.
Next up are these stunning partition screens designed by Matteo Cibic for FusinaLab. Made from anodized aluminium and perspex, Cibic has designed this selection of dividers as a socialisation tool for the post-pandemic world.
I designed a smart and elegant solution to start socializing again during this time of pandemic and spend time with colleagues and friends in restaurants, hair salons and offices.Matteo Cibic, designer at Matteo Cibic Studio
Matteo Cibic is an artist and designer known for his objects with hybrid functions and anthropomorphic and joyful shapes. These screens and partitions certainly live up to this reputation.
Finally, I’d like to share these beautiful custom-made room dividers by Dutch Invertuals. They are available in four shapes and three finishes: acrylic transparent, acrylic translucent and fabric. They come with a powder-coated steel frame on wheels and are available in different colours. Customers can request different combinations of shape, material and colour so that the dividers blend perfectly into any interior.
This makes them the perfect solution for offices, restaurants, hotels, care facilities and even private homes, helping to create a vibrant and safe environment.
So what do you think about these protective office screens? They look a lot better than the perspex screens we’ve seen popping up down the local supermarket, don’t they? Just because a product needs to be safe, practical and functional, doesn’t mean it can’t look good too, right? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below.
And don’t forget to pin this post for later!