Here in the UK all government legally-enforced restrictions have now been removed (as of 19th July 2021) and businesses are now able to make their own rules for customers and staff as regards to social distancing measures moving forward. However, with case numbers of the Delta variant on the rise, despite the high levels of vaccinations occuring, it would be wise for every business to consider how it can continue to protect its employees and visitors in the months to come.
Social distancing screens have become a staple during the pandemic - products that we’ve seen everywhere we go, from supermarkets to hospitality venues and beyond. However, with many workplaces seeing their staff work remotely during the pandemic, it can be difficult to know what to do for the best now that employees are returning to offices. Balancing workforce safety against the outgoing costs of installing purpose-built social distancing screens is something every business will have to consider.
But, there are ways to amend and adapt your existing office screens using top-up guards and hanging partitions for a low-cost alternative to replacing your entire office set-up. Read on to find out more about how to make your existing office screens COVID-secure.
What are office screens usually made from?
The reality is that you can purchase office screens and dividers made from a wide range of materials:
- Fabric screens
- Acoustic screens
- Perspex® screens
- Acrylic or PVC screens
- Tempered glass screens
All of our office screens come in a variety of different shapes and styles, from freestanding floor partitions to mobile screens on wheels and desk divider panels.
Our most commonly purchased, and most cost-effective style of office partition are fabric screens, made with a woodchip core and covered with a layer of fire-rated fabric in your choice of colour. They can be converted into affordable social distancing screens with some modifications, including top-up acrylic guards or hanging Perspex® panels.
Why is it important to convert your current screens into barrier screens?
COVID-19, or Coronavirus is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is responsible for the current global pandemic. There are two most common forms of virus transmission responsible for the majority of infections:
- Airborne/Aerosol Transmission: Current research shows that infection rates in indoor areas from aerosols can be minimised if all parties wear masks, reduce the amount of time spent in company indoors, and if the rooms remain well-ventilated which prevents build-up of these aerosol particles.
- Contact/Droplet Transmission: This type of transmission refers to respiratory droplets which are expelled when an infectious person breathes, sneezes, coughs, shouts or sings. These droplets cannot remain in the air for a long time or across long distances. Face masks catch the majority of these larger droplets, but using divider screens offers a great alternative when seated at desks now that most restrictions have been lifted and many people have been vaccinated.
Setting up protective measures such as Perspex® social distancing screens in our offices and other workplaces is an essential tool in helping to prevent the virus from continuing to spread. Social distancing screens can help reduce the transmission of the virus when kept clean and sanitised regularly by forming a barrier between employees, reducing the need for them to wear face masks when seated at their desks and protecting those at higher risk from contracting COVID-19.
Perspex®, acrylic or tempered glass are the ideal materials to choose as they are easy to keep clean and sanitised, which is important for preserving a hygienic, socially distanced workspace. But you don’t have to purchase a brand new collection of office screens - instead you can use products like the Hanging Plastic Screen Sneeze Guard or the Spectrum Plus Acrylic Glass Desk Screen Topper to enhance your existing office dividers for a cost-effective solution.
COVID Screens for Desks
There are a variety of different kinds of COVID-secure desk screens available, here are some of our most popular styles:
- Framed Clear Perspex® Screens For Desks - available in 3 heights and 6 widths. Made from clear acrylic-glazed vision panels with a 30mm-thick aluminium frame and supplied with two silver-finish desk clamps and two in-line linking strips
- EASYFIT Perspex® Desk Screens - frameless and simple to use. Can be easily attached to any desk or countertop up to 26mm thick – no screws required. Available in five widths - 800mm, 1200mm, 1400mm, 1500mm and 1600mm.
- ACHOO® Crystal Clear Free Standing Perspex Screen - freestanding design. Manufactured from thick 6mm acrylic glass that’s been laser cut for a flawless finish and consistent quality. Available in 6 widths.
Spectrum Plus Acrylic Glass Desk Screen Topper
Perspex® Screen Header Extensions
- Clear Sneeze Screen Retractable Counter Guard - lightweight and portable. Has a 400mm-wide retractable roller banner with a transparent plastic screen made from PVC (Acetate EVA). Rolls up and down for easy use.
- ACHOO® Crystal Clear Table Divider Screens - made from premium 6mm-thick acrylic glass and have a single aluminium upright with two base support options. Suitable for round or square tables. Creates four individual seating areas.
- Perspex® Screen Header Extension - a small panel which provides extra height and protection when combined with our Aluminium Frame Clear Acrylic Desk Screens. Manufactured from 5mm-thick acrylic or 6mm-thick thermally toughened Safety Glass.
In addition, we also sell products designed to amend and update your existing fabric or acoustic office screens to offer more protection from harmful virus particles. These include items such as:
- Virus Defender Acrylic Desk Screen Overlay - this transparent acrylic overlay panel simply hooks over your existing fabric divider. An affordable alternative to completely replacing your existing office screens. Available in 2 heights and 5 widths.
- Spectrum Plus Acrylic Glass Desk Screen Topper - designed to add additional height to your pre-existing desk divider screens. Crafted from transparent, 5mm-thick Perspex®. 200mm or 300mm high and available in six different widths.
If you want to make your office as safe and hygienic as possible as we move into the next phase of the pandemic where most social distancing measures are no longer required by law, it’s absolutely possible to amend your existing office screen solutions with products that make them easy to wipe down and sanitise regularly. Installing purpose-built social distancing screens is, of course, the most thorough way to protect your workforce but adjustments to your current set up is a more affordable way to introduce safety measures for the long term.
For more information on any of our office screens or dividers, you can get in touch with our team via our Contact Us page or call us on 01234 676767.