How To Make Your Workspace Safe After Lockdown?

April 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has had an unprecedented impact on how businesses operate. Negatives aside, this pandemic is an opportunity to push workspaces into the future with new health technologies. How To Make Your Workspace Safe After Lockdown? Raghmah Solomon advise on 8 things you can do to safeguard your workspace

According to Raghmah Solomon, at Vortex Design Solutions, an Interior Design company specialising in compliance of building fire, HVAC and electrical systems to obtain Occupation Certification from City Council. “In our experience we know creating a working environment in which employees are safe and free to flourish, is extremely beneficial for both a company’s culture and bottom-line.”

Here are the top 8 things you can do to safeguard your building and/or workspace:

  • Educate your staff. Go the extra mile to make sure your staff members understand how the new health and safety regulations work and why they are in place. No measures you adopt are going to be effective if your staff members are not educated in-situ on how to use them or on the facts about how COVID-19 is transmitted.
  • Re-evaluate your access control systems. Some buildings use finger biometrics for security reasons. These are easily replaced with card-controlled access systems which eliminate the risk posed by employees touching the same touchpad continuously.
  • Automate your doors. Many doors have no closing mechanism which means staff must touch the handles. Automating doors with a door closer and a no-touch sensor button is an easy and unobtrusive step towards safety.
  • Clear the clutter. Apart from having proven psychological benefits, a clean workspace will eliminate possible places for the virus to linger.
  • Redesign the workspaces. Areas of top priority are worktops that are not hygiene friendly in reception areas and canteen areas, as well as sale points at retail spaces which should have sneeze guards.
  • Have mobile hand sanitiser units at as many common touchpoints as possible for people to disinfect should they touch a shared space.
  • Restructure open-plan layouts. The safest way to be in a shared space is to adhere to the 2m distancing as per the office quarantine solutions guidelines. Invest in mindful, sustainable technology for teams to restructure their collaborative meetings and team huddles, as well as information signage to keep all members of your company in contact and up to date.

We already know that a virus will survive on many surfaces that make up our office spaces and this means the potential risks for virus transmission in the workplace are everywhere.

Health and safety regulations will adapt to protect our labour force and it is the responsibility of every business owner to adapt with them.

It is the hope of the team behind Vortex Design Solutions, that their expertise on creating beautiful, optimal working environments, can help move South African businesses into a safer, cleaner and more productive future

Raghmah Solomon – Media Biography

Raghmah Solomon

Raghmah Solomon – founder, director and pioneer behind Vortex Design Solutions – is breaking industry barriers by creating a dynamic, full service, female-led Architectural Interior Design company.

Born out of Raghmah’s desire to create an innovative and sustainable business, Vortex Design Solutions creates more than beautiful interiors. It provides sustainable employment, offers specialised education opportunities for its staff, and empowers all team members to share their knowledge and transfer skills to those around them.

She began her career journey at CPUT by obtaining her Bachelor of Technology in interior design. After gaining eight years’ experience in the Architectural Interior Design industry, she had learnt every part of the construction process in exquisite detail and was ready to start Vortex Design Solutions in 2015.

It was during her time as a Client and Engineer liaison that she learnt the importance and value of consistent communication and professional collaboration first-hand.

Being able to extract what the client needs while understanding the building site requirements from a health and safety point of view, as well as carefully balancing the risk with the finished product can be tricky, however she soon found that she had a talent for complex project management.

For her, every prosperous project is a delicate balancing act between budget, timelines, and quality. She believes that successful projects all stem from a clear understanding of the client’s expectations, a streamlined communication process and a skilled team.

It is in her pursuit of the perfect team that she is realising another dream. She knows that by uplifting her employees, teaching them new skills and how to transfer their skills to others, the business will continue to grow. Carefully handpicked individuals are upskilled in line with their strengths and become a part of a diverse, experienced, and dynamic team.

She believes that if people are empowered through education, they will support each other and ultimately produce a better product. The passionate, skilled, and experienced team that she has built to take every project from conception to completion is an aspect of the business that she is exceptionally proud of. It is her hope that ultimately her business model will uplift the entire industry and she believes that skills transfer is the only sustainable way for a business to thrive.

In the architectural and construction industry, women are often underestimated, and it is her vision that by empowering more women through education, women will be able to add their unique perspective to the projects of the future.

The ultimate motivation behind her work is to build both wonderful spaces and strong confident professionals. She strives to set an example that people will embrace and works tirelessly to help those around her realise their full potential.

Raghmah believes that another key aspect for success is to have systems that create environments for staff to flourish, where they have all the resources they need to perform at their best while also learning and growing. In her industry there is seldom a project that goes 100% according to plan, which is why along with technical skills, she prioritises soft skills such as problem-solving and an optimistic mindset in her work and her staff’s education.

Communication is key but it is also at times challenging and learning how different people interpret information can be a particularly challenging part of teaching. However, thanks to her ability to reflect on her methods and be honest about where improvements can be made, Raghmah has been able to tailor her systems and grow

the self-confidence she needs to be a better leader.

For her knowing that she has helped even one person to become a better version of themselves is what she thrives on.

When she is not building a better world one person at a time, Raghmah enjoys taking time aside to quietly reflect on the elements of her life that she is most grateful for, such as her adoring husband, strong sense of faith and resilient spirit. She knows that by taking the time to reflect on the positives in her life, she can actively renew her conviction, clearly visualises her next goal and create a rock-solid plan to achieve it.

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