SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The future of the workplace is ever changing amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The nature of what we do and how we do it has changed dramatically," said Springfield's President of Broadway Office Interiors Ron Gordenstein. 

Gordenstein told Western Mass News he is seeing an increase in demand for their services, as offices adjust to new safety guidelines. 

"Today you don't want to have 10 people sitting around a conference table," Gordenstein said. 

That is certainty the case for Kevin Rothschild-Shea, President of Architecture Environmental Life. 

"We've already made changes," Rothschild- Shea said. "We've been working on this since the beginning."

Gordenstein said they've created a different plan for different days of the week, based on who is in the office.

"We've created five seating plans," Gordenstein noted. "It's all about safety and physical separation."

The team at Broadway Office Interiors have been reconstructing office spaces to give them just that, with the most companies requesting screens to create barriers.

"It could be a tempered safety glass, it could be a poly-carbonate, like Lexan, which is extremely durable."

This is something Architecture E.L. has already implemented.

"The front door is locked," Rothschild-Shea said. "Our receptionist has a screen."

With an increase in demand for that product, however, comes a decrease in availability in the market.

"Every manufacturer I've talked to, whether they are a part supplier or a glass or Lexan supplier there has been an absolute run on inventory and lead times have grown from, we have it in stock, to six or seven weeks," said Gordenstein.

This means many companies calling for their services will have to wait.

"I wish everything was in stock," Gordenstein explained. "I wish we could make them open when they want to. I get an uneasy feeling saying we're two weeks away and the glass is out of stock." 

At Architecture E.L. they're still using applications like zoom for conferences with some face-to-face contact, limiting capacity and implementing other safety measures like frequent cleanings.

"We intended to maintain everyone's safety by preserving these practices," said Rothschild-Shea.

As companies work hard to provide a safe and effective work environment, Gordenstein said manufacturers are coming out with new designs to protect employees.

"It's interesting how our industry is looking at new products to anticipate what the market is going to be looking for," Gordenstein explained.

A market that will continue to change as the country deals with COVID-19. 

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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