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Whilst a full return to the physical office may not be imminent, the extended downtime brings the opportunity to plan for the eventual return to the workplace – whether phased or in full – in a way that cares for employees and safeguards their health and wellbeing.
Paid feature by Forbo Flooring Systems
When the coronavirus first became a household name back in March 2020, no one could have predicted how it would affect everyday life – and that the majority of us would still be working from home 12 months on. Whilst a full return to the physical office may not be imminent, the extended downtime brings the opportunity to plan for the eventual return to the workplace – whether phased or in full – in a way that cares for employees and safeguards their health and wellbeing.
The solution is likely to require a refurbishment; making changes to existing office spaces with smart and flexible solutions that can be quickly implemented – but are also future-proof. Indeed, the redesign of the office might involve a change of flooring, and the benefits of an adhesive free installation suggests it is the most viable solution. Not only can products be installed quickly and easily, reducing installation time by over 50%, as well as minimising downtime, but opting for adhesive free solutions can also help to create better indoor environments.
Prior to the pandemic, a survey reported that 80% of UK office workers think that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative impact on their health. While polluted air is rarely visible to the naked eye, air quality does greatly influence the wellbeing and productivity of office staff. Poor air quality can even result in respiratory illnesses and other diseases. This is especially caused by poor ventilation and the evaporation of volatile organic compounds (VOC emissions) from furniture and floors, cleaning detergents and building materials, for example. Products that emit low VOCs or aromas during refurbishment are therefore crucial.
Products that have been specifically developed for adhesive free installations can contribute positively to improving indoor air quality as installation is free from the usual constraints associated with adhesives, such as lingering odours. During installation, there will also be less noise, dust and mess as products can be laid straight down onto the subfloor, or even over an existing floor, and with minimal preparation in many cases.
With products such as Forbo’s Allura Ease , which is part of Forbo’s Fast Fit collection, the luxury vinyl tile collection combines the look and feel of its natural counterpart, whether it be wood or stone, with the advantages of adhesive free installation. The tiles and planks are rapid to fit with minimal downtime, and are easy to remove, re-use and recycle. Ultimately, the ‘new normal’ will be focused on higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene and thanks to proven technology such as Allura’s highly durable PUR surface finish, this allows for easy cleaning and maintenance within the office building.
Offering the warmth and comfort of a carpet combined with durability and cleanability, the use of flocked flooring can also contribute to better indoor environments. Thanks to its unique construction, products such as Flotex trap allergens in between its tightly packed fibres, thereby reducing the number of allergens in the atmosphere and has led to it receiving the prestigious Allergy UK Seal of Approval. With a reported 21 million people in the UK that suffer from allergies, businesses can breathe easy in the knowledge that they chose flocked flooring.
Furthermore, as offices are likely to adopt the creation of zones to separate work activities, Allura Ease can be installed alongside easy to clean and maintain textile products such as Flotex Planks, without the need for transition strips. Recently refreshed, the Flotex Planks collection comprises 96 colourways across 11 designs and is split into two distinct design families: Surfaces and Textures. With these two products, designers will have the world at their feet when it comes to creating integrated flooring schemes. Indeed, both Allura Ease and Flotex Planks can be cleaned using the same solution for a quick and easy way to keep flooring surfaces hygienic.
To find out more about Forbo’s complete portfolio for office flooring solutions, click here
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