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Sustainable and cost-effective cardboard 3-way desk shield launches for first time in UK

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  • Cardboard desk shield created to protect and provide psychological reassurance to returning workers
  • Environmentally friendly – made from 80% recycled materials and 100% recyclable 
  • COVID-19 remains stable on cardboard for 24 hours and plastic for 72 hours
  • Around third of cost of Perspex – for businesses facing sudden budget cuts
  • Measures may not last or businesses might wind down
  • Sustainable and cost-effective alternative to Perspex at £31.95 per screen

As UK businesses prepare to get workers back into the office – many having to put measures in place to protect employees while facing a sudden need to cut costs – a cost-effective and environmentally friendly 3-Way-Desk-Shield has been introduced to the market for the first time to offer protection and reassurance.

In response to government guidelines on social distancing within offices, design, fit out and workplace consultancy Office Principles has created a 100% recyclable desk shield from 80% recycled materials, which can be used in offices recalibrated for social distancing.  The wipeable, cardboard desk shield provides a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to Perspex at £31.95 per screen.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently released new guidance for UK employers on how to implement social distancing measures, including screens between workers, one-way systems and staggered work times.

How long these measures – or in fact some businesses – will last remains to be seen, making a 3-Way-Desk-Shield a viable and cost-effective option.

Tom Cheesewright, applied futurist and author of Future- Poof your Business, said: “Everyone is adjusting to a new environment of increased caution and continuing uncertainty. Until we have clarity about the long-term impacts of the pandemic, we need rapid and adaptable solutions to the challenges it presents, whether that’s for customers, partners, remote workers, or in the office. Not all of these will be high tech, where much of the focus has been placed so far. The most important interventions might be much simpler, leveraging great design and simple materials to provide protection, reassurance, and even behavioural nudges through changes to the workplace.”

Office Principles’ 3-Way-Desk-Shields will provide the same shielding protection for employees at around a third of the cost of Perspex, making it the perfect option for those businesses that could potentially wind down or are unsure about how long the guidelines will stay in place.

The lightweight desk shields are manufactured from white cardboard, with clear plastic film windows on each side to allow natural light in.  It has been proven that  COVID-19 remains stable on cardboard for 24 hours and plastic for 72 hours.

Furthermore, the white cardboard panels are more flexible than plastic; they can be cut down to size, moved around the office and have holes cut in them to accommodate cables.

Joint managing director of Office Principles, Cyril Parsons said:  “In response to COVID-19, we’ve designed our own desk shields to provide a physical barrier between adjacent and opposite desks in an open plan office.  Using these will not only protect and provide psychological reassurance to workers in a social distancing environment, but can also help offices meet government guidelines and potentially increase occupancy of the office, allowing more desks to be occupied.”

Office Principles’ core team worked with psychologists, designers and strategists to ascertain the probable effect that COVID-19 will have on offices in the future and how the environment could change to accommodate the return to work.

For further information on Office Principles and its services, visit www.officeprinciples.com

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Richard Ewen Architects is a Chartered RIBA registered practice offering a complete design and build service. They have offices in...

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