Spotlight: Returning to the Workplace & Office Circulation

Like many businesses around the country, TVS has worked through a number of phases since transitioning to social distancing in March of this year– from scrambling to get up and running quickly from home, through anxiety to get back to the office and now, fully in the groove of working remotely, we’re preparing for the future.

While we don’t have a date certain, Phase 1 of our reopening will be here soon. We’re working through the immediate changes most important to our office and want to share a weekly update with a few thoughts and examples of what we’re doing to get ready, with an emphasis on office circulation.

We’re focused on the basics:


circulation 1Taking a page from grocery stores, we’re identifying a one-way path through the office that minimizes face-to-face contact and considers the direction of flow when we can host guests in our offices once again. Dedicated circulation ways create no-use zones along the path that will impact the amount of heads-down workspace in open office configurations.


conferencing 16 ft of separation has been the social distancing battle cry during this pandemic. We’ve included common conference room configurations and identified new layouts and criteria for safer use. We think the 6 ft guideline research is really about movement and temporary use. We’re searching the research on the impact of conditioned air and longer-term adjacency and if that research leads us to different layouts, we’ll share what we’ve learned with the sources.


hands free 1We’re including our layout of hands-free sanitizer locations – we’ve identified a great looking, rechargeable device from simplehuman. We are adding other hands-free devices, some with longer lead times, including hands-free faucets and door handles. Our building already has hands-free soap and towel dispensers and automatic toilets but if yours doesn’t, you might consider adding them.

We’ve also been working with clients on projects that started before the pandemic and are now pivoting through their quarantine experiences to different solutions. We are in the process of evaluating our own future office plans, as well as new space for our Tampa office and see an amazing opportunity to rethink the role of place in our work.

Next week we’ll share a few more examples and some of the lessons learned in quarantine that we’ll carry forward into the future. We’ve launched a new survey in our office and hope to be able to share the learnings from our team of designers, marketers, accountants and researchers at tvsdesign.

Stay tuned for more updates to come. In the meantime, we’re here to help – if you have questions about your own workplace, reach out to Katie Dasgupta, associate principal of TVS’ Workplace Studio.