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Actions & Designs to Keep Your Students and Faculty Safe

Simple actions and designs can encourage safe interactions on your campus.

November 13, 2020
Picture of campus with overlay text saying 'Keeping your students and faculty safe'

As we are entering the flu season, making sure your students and faculty stay safe from both the regular flu and from COVID-19 is a top priority. Luckily, there are simple action items and space planning methods that you can use to ensure that your space encourages healthy social distancing behaviors, even in common areas.

Here are 7 Immediate Actions to take:

  1. Implement hygiene education and regular cleaning
    1. Including educational posters and videos if available can help remind your students and faculty about proper hand washing, use of sanitization stations, and proper mask wear. Including regular professional cleaning services are crucial in tandem with this.
  2. Allow flexible hours and scheduling
    1. Providing flexible hours for your faculty and staggered class schedules for your students can lower the amount of people present at any one time. Consider integrating working from home for faculty and virtual classes with in-person classes.
  3. Flexible meet up options
    1. Consider providing virtual meeting options for your faculty.
  4. De-densify
    1. Changing the floor plan of your classrooms, lecture halls, common areas, and study areas to have less stations and spread out students and faculty
  5. Reduce in person interaction
    1. While college is normally a very social time, discourage students from having large, in-person gatherings. Encourage clubs on campus to host virtual events.
  6. Limit or stop desk sharing or implement rigorous reservation and leaning regimen
    1. Introducing a reservation system, especially for common study areas, can help ensure that there are not more students in one area than there should be.
  7. Increase ventilation rates and circulation
    1. Increasing your ventilation and circulation, especially from outside air, helps to regularly clean the air in your facilities. Consider adding air purifiers in higher populated areas as well.
Ways to rearrange your same furniture for a safer layout

There are several strategies for space planning to encourage healthy social distancing behaviors. When thinking of a new layout, consider four ways to adjust:

  1. Orientation
  2. Boundaries
  3. Flexibility

Changing the space between stations and study areas, the direction they are facing, and physical boundaries and barriers between too close stations can help keep your students and faculty safe. You’ll want furniture with flexibility to be able to make these changes easily and adjust with what is working.

Designing for Safer Interactions on Campus Webinar

Watch a research based webinar recording from Herman Miller about how you can use design to encourage healthier behaviors on your campus.

Watch Webinar