3 Ways to Drive Socially Distant Productivity in the Lab
Lab work is socially distant by nature. It’s safe because of safety protocols built over decades as well as, in some cases, intense physical protection but it’s also inherently unsafe because of working with disease, chemicals, and generally, the unknown (hence, the protocols). Whether you believe that social distancing is necessary in the lab environment or believe the safety precautions have been applied in that setting for many years, you’re likely still facing challenges and restrictions when it comes to being at work in the lab.
How do we get back to full throughput, output, or production, and back to full profitability while adhering to the “new normal” and state government imposed rules? This is especially critical in non-clinical, commercial areas, where workers may not be deemed “essential employees” and in labs where years of research hangs in the balance.
Starting with the most effective but expensive way of increasing your ability to safely drive productivity is the option to expand your space. This doesn’t have to mean moving into a new building or floor.
Remote work has become so prolific that your company can likely operate with many office employees working from home. You can’t do most lab work (if any) from home.
If lab work is critical to your business, and you want to keep that business alive, this should be a serious consideration. Sure, it wasn’t in your plans or your budget but neither was remote work or a global pandemic.
If finances are a challenge, look to federal relief loans. The PPP loan can cover payroll to open up funding for expansion. The EIDL loan stated that you can’t expand or move your business but that’s not what this is – this is about maximizing existing space to meet the demands of the new working environment so you can maintain revenue, profitability, or forward trajectory and continue to do great things and employ great people.
If you are considering expanding your lab, please reach out to us at MacBick. We can evaluate your space remotely and discuss whether this option might work for you.
Note: Upon publication, the EIDL loan was only available to Agriculture businesses but Congress is evaluating new relief options.
Redesign: Hear Me Out!
If you don’t have the space or financial resources to expand, or it simply won’t work for your business needs, consider redesigning your existing lab space. A redesign sounds expensive but we’re not talking about tearing it out and starting over.
Modular design creates flexibility. Flexibility prepares you for whatever comes next. At MacBick we thrive on designing spaces that meet the changing needs of labs. While a global pandemic wasn’t in our purview, our lab design services have always been focused on the modularity for quick, inexpensive adjustments.
We can help you redesign quickly, to support your immediate challenges and initiatives will pay off for many years to come. Switching pieces in and out with a modular system is incredibly easy, to help you meet whatever demands come your way in the future.
This option depends on what type of work you’re doing, time sensitivity, and certainly the needs of your lab employees but splitting time in the lab could give you 2-3 shifts per day, in order to have ½ or ⅓ of your lab workers inside at any given time.
Splitting time comes under criticism by some over disinfecting but most lab environments require a level of cleanliness regularly. An hour shorter shifts with a cleaning team between would do the trick, if that’s a concern.
Generally, employees in a lab are wearing some combination of masks, goggles, gloves, and protective clothing as it is, while also understanding proper use of PPE and gloves. Splitting time could be a great option if you need to boost productivity while saving money.
The bottom line is the bottom line. Profitability does not supersede the health of people – that’s for sure. However, in order to continue to employ people, your business has to be profitable and in order to be profitable, you have to stay open and productive.
MacBick is here to help you with any lab design needs. We build for flexibility so if you’re looking to make the most of your space or expand beyond your existing space, please give us a call at (855) 460-7817 or email us at [email protected]