Whether it's a group of new hires eager to learn their new jobs, seasoned employees pursuing continuing education, onsite training for students, or any other learning opportunity-- a training room is a place designed for engaging discourse and the pursuit of knowledge.
Making these places safe and sound relies on reducing occupancy while providing even and proportional space between every person. Reducing numbers while retaining amenities is key. While these spaces take a lot of inspiration from the new conference room, these instructor-led environments deal with larger waves of people with their own unique needs.
Training rooms are often high-occupancy spaces that feature a significant number of workstations in a small amount of space. In these situations, simply halving the occupancy may not bring the numbers down low enough. Set your occupancy based on how many people you can fit within safe spacing guidelines by measuring your space and furniture, further limiting the maximum capacity from there.
Make occupancy expectations perfectly clear with posted signage outside of the training room. Ensure that these details also live in any other central locations, such as within your return to work guidebook or in the notes of your Outlook room lists.
REMOVE EXCESS FURNITURE
When it's not in use, remove spare tables and chairs from the space and hold them in storage in order to discourage use. For the remaining items, determine safe configurations and mark them on the floor using decals or gaff tape to discourage participants from moving furniture about the room and into restricted spaces.
- Reduce two-person training tables to one-person workstations.
- If spacing is still too tight, use acrylic partitions to separate the space on either end and between seating.
- For layouts, try to avoid horseshoe or circular configurations and seek to keep participants face-to-back as often as possible.
- Use flip-top tables that can be added and moved to maximize the use of your space.
CONSIDER TABLET SEATING
Tablet-arm chairs incorporate everything you need in one simple workspace. Building off of the traditional design seen in classrooms, modern tablet arm seating can be highly modular, incorporating casters, extendable arms, and even personal storage beneath the table. In the long haul, these seating options can create ideal personal seats within larger training rooms.
MOVABLE AND STORABLE FURNITURE
Nesting and stacking furniture makes it easy to adjust layouts on the fly but also makes it easy to expand and contract seating as regulations change. Nesting tables easily flip up while in use but can be flipped down to store in an easy, low-profile configuration. Similarly, nesting chairs can stored out of the way or stacking chairs can be used to further enhance seating and streamline storage.
EVALUATE PERSONAL STORAGE
Especially when visitors are involved, coat closets are often central storage places for coats and other personal belongings. For the time being, close off these areas and encourage participants to store their personal belongings at their workspaces.
In the long-run, retrofit these closets to feature closed-off cubbies that can accommodate personal items while restricting the ability to touch others' belongings. To eliminate shared closets all together, look into tablet chairs or caster chairs that have self-storage beneath the seat and reconfigure coat closets into other functional storage.
REMOVE AMENITIES AND SHARED SUPPLIES
Beverage carts, mini-refrigerators, coffee stations, and other communal goods are needlessly high-touch and should be fully removed from the space for the time being. If shared office or notetaking supplies are used, ensure that they're single-use or that participants can take them along when they're finished in order to reduce paper goods and other hard-to-clean surfaces.
ADD CLEANING SUPPLIES
By their nature, training areas see a variety of people and often include those who are new to your organization. Ensure that cleaning protocol is heightened and that procedures can be taken care of before, during, and after every session.
PERSONAL SANITIZATION STATION
At the entryway, place personal hand sanitizer and/or disposable wipes for compulsory personal use while entering and exiting the area. If you're adding wipes, ensure that a garbage can is placed close by for disposal. Keep a box of disposable masks and/or disposable gloves near the entrance, even if your organization only recommends--and does not mandate--masking in communal areas; those who wish to mask can then choose to do so with ease.
Throughout the office you'll want to have a somewhat standardized cleaning caddy that has everything you need to wipe down an area before and after use. These should include a strong spray disinfectant and rags for cleaning tables, chairs, and partitions, as well as disposable wipes for quick touch areas, such as door knobs, as well as hand sanitizer.
While not full of cleaning supplies, keep a separate caddy to store and organize any tech peripherals, such as remotes, wireless keyboards, wireless mice, Bluetooth speakers, or other teleconference necessities. Keep these high-touch items out of the way when they're not in use. After each training session, make sure to clean each item with solvents specifically designed for use on technology, including screen-safe wipes for any tablets, laptops, or iPads.