How to Pandemic-Proof Your Workplace

How to Pandemic-Proof Your Workplace
How to Pandemic-Proof Your Workplace infographic. Click here to view/download the PDF copy.


As the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) mulls over new standards for building designs and ventilation guidelines in a post-COVID-19 Singapore, here are five steps that building owners and tenants can take to create healthier offices, as recommended by the Singapore Green Building Council.

Good Lighting

    • Harness natural daylight where possible, with artificial lighting as a supplement.
    • Use motion sensors to eliminate the need to touch light switches.
    • Opt for energy-efficient lights (no incandescent lights and halogens)

Indoor Air Quality

    • Has a direct impact on employees’ respiratory system and health as it affects the air they breathe.
    • Select low volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission options for office equipment such as printers and keep them away from workstations.
    • Ensure architectural finishes such as adhesives, paints and coatings used in the office are certified for low VOC content.
    • Supplement air-conditioning with fans, where possible, which helps in ventilation and air circulation.
    • Ensure air-con units are connected to the fresh air duct that enables fresh air to be drawn into the office space.
    • Reduce indoor air re-circulation and do regular air purging as recommended by BCA, National Environment Agency and Ministry of Health.
    • The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or unhealthy your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern. The AQI is calculated for four major air pollutants: ground level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide.
  • AQI ValueAir Quality Is
    0 - 50Good
    51 - 100Moderate
    101 - 150Unhealthy for sensitive groups
    151 - 200Unhealthy
    201 - 300Very unhealthy
    301 - 500Hazardous

Interior Layout and Active Design

    • Zone the office based on its various activities.
    • Allow flexibility in employees’ work environment as many will most likely spend most of the workday in the office, including mealtimes.
    • Helps to promote positive mental health in the workplace, as employees have different areas to destress and decompress.

Biophilia and Views

    • Indoor greenery such as green walls and large potted plants can help absorb VOCs and cleanse the air.
    • Having greenery coverage of more than 2% of the office area scores one point under the BCA Green Mark for Healthier Workplaces criteria.
    • Creates a more pleasant working environment for employees.

Noise and Acoustics

    • Have purpose-built phone pods for teleconferencing.
    • Besides managing noise and office’s overall acoustics, standalone pods can help contain the spread of any viruses and allows for effective cleaning and sanitisation.

Source: Singapore Green Building Council, Straits Times graphics

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