MxD Leverages In-House Capabilities for a Safe Office Return

July 7, 2020 – This week, additional members of the MxD team head into the office as we prepare to safely welcome more partners and guests during Phase 4 of Restore Illinois.

Our building operations, events, and future factory teams have been hard at work over the past several weeks to make the MxD innovation center as safe and sanitary as possible, making several items in-house that can be replicated in other work environments.

Safe Entry

When visitors enter the building, signs guide them to a touchless thermometer scanner that indicates whether their temperature is normal or elevated. They are also directed to respond to questions about their physical state and possible exposure to COVID-19 and are asked to exit and seek care if appropriate.

If any queues form, decals on the atrium floor indicate where to stand to ensure social distancing. Entry is limited to one set of turnstiles with exit at the opposite end, so traffic is one-way in either direction.

The factory team has designed, prototyped (3D printed), and tested a stylus using conductive PLA and rubber tips to allow visitors to avoid directly touching registration iPads. The styluses can be sanitized between uses. MxD has produced about 60 for use at the facility, and the design is free and available for others to produce a similar tool.

Another product designed and prototyped in-house is a door opener. The custom design enables touchless opening of both twist door handles and regular pull handles. With about 90 made thus far and the capacity to build hundreds more if the need arises, the MxD factory team plans to provide the openers to members and other regular guests in addition to staff. This design is also free and available.

Protection in the Office Space

Clear signage provides reminders to wear a mask when in any shared spaces, stay six feet apart, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands, avoid hugs and handshakes, and wipe down surfaces regularly.

Our factory team has also designed sturdy and streamlined sneeze guards for the security desk, office workspaces, conference rooms, huddle rooms, and other shared spaces. The team then built these products with locally sourced parts and retrofitted existing furniture to provide safety and comfort for employees and visitors. Once again, we have made the design open for others to adapt and use.

Events and Meetings

In the current phase of Illinois reopening, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed. However, room capacities have been modified to the maximum that can be accommodated while maintaining social distance. White boards, markers, pens, and other communal items have been removed from conference rooms.

A “clean seal” on conference room doors will indicate that the room has been sanitized prior to a meeting. Tours have been redesigned to allow for distance between attendees, with safety glasses and other items sanitized in a UV cabinet between wears. Finally, we are providing an updated catering menu with individual portions rather than buffet-style meals.

Working in the “Next Normal”

This is not an exhaustive list of the updates in our office practices, but covers the main updates we are making as buildings reopen and more work shifts from virtual to hybrid and safely in person.

As circumstances change, MxD’s office return plan may be adjusted and updated. The measures implemented are consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Illinois Department of Public Health guidance.

For organizations looking to safely resume in-person events, we are making our events guide public to show how we are putting the recommendations of health experts and authorities into practice at the MxD innovation center.

Also below are the design files for the stylus and door opener pictured and described above.

Download Design Files