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Blog: The New Workplace Reality - Our Experience

March 31, 2021
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Like most organizations today, S2 is actively working on design solutions for the post-COVID office environment. This past year we experienced our own design opportunity in the midst of this crisis and learned many valuable lessons.

Like most organizations today, S2 is actively working on design solutions for the post-COVID office environment. While this impacts everyone, at our own Edmonton studio, we experienced a particularly unique “realtime” design and construction opportunity in the midst of this crisis. Because it hits home, our studio build out and move-in has proved invaluable for lessons learned.

Impact of COVID

  • Delays in construction schedule due to manufacturer plant shutdowns with product fabrication and shipment delays and no indication of factory start-ups;
  • Extended move-in dates required the move-in of all existing furnishings, equipment and moving crates prior to occupancy;
  • Meeting spaces, seating plans and common areas were planned prior to required physical distancing and heightened sanitation measures leaving us with questions about how to best address the health and safety of our employees without costly rework/planning and furniture reconfiguration.

Our Solution

  • Worked hand-in-hand with our contractor in the re-sequencing and coordination of on-site work together with the move-in of fully operational IT systems and furnishings at pre-occupancy (80%) completion;
  • Strategies for dirt and dust control became an important piece of the strategy;
  • Analyzed the already planned for furnishings arrangement and leveraged future growth with flexible work-from-home arrangements to augment social distancing and eliminate additional costs for furnishings reconfiguration or augmentation;
  • Strategies included consideration of eventual return to office.

IMG 4510

The build-out of this space, while minimal for open office workstations, required a reconfiguration of mechanical infrastructure and addition of lighting. Significant COVID-related delays on the delivery of lighting and installation caused an overlap in the all existing furnishings move. Staging coordination of furnishings, equipment and boxes, including the relocation of the IT mainframe, was planned together with the contractor and subtrades to best facilitate ongoing construction sequencing while preserving furnishings and operating IT equipment.