Office design and layout isn’t what it used to be.
Rather than long rows of desks or an endless maze of cubicles, current design trends favor office spaces that are vibrant, open, and welcoming. Those visiting your office appreciate that, too.
Current public health regulations, however, have created new layout requirements. With a focus on preventing airborne diseases -- such as COVID-19 -- from spreading, offices are integrating new measures to keep employees and the public safely distant.
Glass separators -- both partitions and sneeze guards -- offer more than a means to create rooms and spaces in an office of any layout. Combining function with modern design, glass separators in your building create clear barriers that serve multiple purposes.
5 Reasons to Use Glass Separators in Your Office
A versatile solution for any office space or business, glass separators boast five key benefits:
- Public health protection
- Lower remodeling costs
- Improved aesthetics
- Enhanced privacy
- Easy maintenance
1. Public Health Protection
Because of the coronavirus, businesses in most states are required to install protective barriers to keep staff and the public socially distant to stop germs from spreading.
Consider a sneeze.
When a person sneezes and doesn’t cover their mouth, particles and germs easily travel up to 20’ away. That’s more than 3x farther than social distancing guidelines of 6’.
Similar to sneeze guards at a buffet, glass partitions act as a barrier to contain exhaled germs -- whether by cough or sneeze -- from spreading throughout your office. In extreme cases like the coronavirus pandemic, glass separators can mean the difference in protecting your staff and any visitors from an airborne contagion.
Depending on your office’s setup, an experienced glass manufacturer can fabricate portable sneeze guards to keep your staff safe no matter where they are in your building.
2. Lower Remodeling Costs
Remodeling any space is often an expensive undertaking. Even something as seemingly simple as putting up new sheetrock walls carries a hefty price tag. Adding up materials and labor costs, installing new walls costs at least $35 per sq. ft.
Putting up portable glass partition walls isn’t nearly as involved a task as putting up traditional walls. It’s a cheaper alternative, too -- there’s no design work, demolition, or permanent installations. If you have an in-house maintenance crew, there’s a good chance it’ll be able to handle putting everything together.
What’s more, portable glass separators offer flexibility. If you’re not in love with your design, you don’t have to live with it -- it’s easy to change things up.
3. Improved Aesthetics
Glass separators in an office create a modern appearance. Allowing for light -- natural or artificial -- to still flow through a room unobstructed, glass partitions give a clean, crisp aesthetic.
But glass separators can do much more for design. They can add a splash of color to a room. Cut to specific shapes, they become a focal point. With additional fabrication, they can give a finished look to a space. Common finishing techniques include:
4. Enhanced Privacy
Though once the rage in modern layout trends, the completely open-concept floor plan seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs.
By appearances, open-concept floor plans lent an air of transparency and encouraged employee interactions. In reality, however, businesses found there were several downfalls to the layout, such as:
- Limited privacy
- Interruptions from sound and movement
- Less face-to-face interaction
Glass partitions are the happy medium.
While still allowing for an open aesthetic, glass separators give an element of privacy -- even glass office cubicle partitions. In addition, glass partitions and sneeze guards help contain sound to a space -- that employee having a loud conversation or sneezing fit won’t be as much of a disruption.
5. Easy Maintenance
From an upkeep standpoint, glass partitions and sneeze guards are low maintenance.
Cleaning both is a breeze. With some regular glass cleaner and a little elbow grease, your glass separators shine like new. You won’t need any expensive cleaning solutions or to hire a specialized cleaning crew.
In the event a glass partition is broken or cracks, it’s much easier -- and faster -- to replace the pane than other building materials, such as brick, concrete, or hardie board.
Glass Partitions -- Not Just Glass
Glass partitions don’t necessarily need to be true glass.
Acrylic and polycarbonate sheets are also suitable glass alternatives. Considered “plastic glass,” both thermoplastics offer almost the same clarity, versatility, and manufacturability as traditional glass.
Both materials do outperform glass in two key areas: strength and weight.
1. Strength: Compared to standard glass, polycarbonate sheets are up to 250x stronger while acrylic sheets are about 17% stronger. That means both materials are less likely to break against blunt impacts.
2. Weight: Polycarbonate and acrylic sheets weigh about half that of traditional glass. You’ll have a much easier time moving around free-standing sneeze guards or portable partition walls.
Glass Separators For Safety and Design
Made from a material that’s easy to work with and long-lasting, glass separators in your office are an investment in a versatile product. Not only do they help you keep those inside your workspace safe, but also enhance the overall atmosphere of the space.
V-grooving is a simple way to add a unique design element to a glass partition.
Learn about how v-grooving enhances a glass piece’s appearance: