Cushman & Wakefield introduces 6 Feet Office concept to its Japan Office in preparation for their return-to-office program

Odysseus Markezinis • 22/05/2020

Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, has announced its plan to test the 6 Feet Office concept at its Tokyo office as part of their return-to-office program, to commence after the State of Emergency in Japan ends. The global commercial real estate services firm has also started offering return-to-office consulting for clients using the same 6 Feet Office concept, fully supporting corporates as they start their return-to-office planning.

Todd Olson, Japan Managing Director, shared that “after the expected cancellation of the State of Emergency, we will gradually return employees in several stages. At first, only essential workers who need to return to the office will do so. There are various reasons why employees may need to work from the office environment. We will assign the role of “essential worker” to employees who need or want to return to the office without compelling anyone to do so if they’re not comfortable.
“About 25% of employees can return to the office at once, but in my mind that is an upper limit. 20% or even 10% works fine if staff are able to conduct their work from home. This decision came very naturally as we consider each and every employee an important asset for the company. In addition, we are continuing to further strengthen internal collaboration by actively utilizing new technology in order to maintain and improve the quality of services provided to our clients.”

Odysseus Markezinis, COO of Global Occupier Services in Japan, continued that “the 6 Feet Office has been widely introduced overseas by Cushman & Wakefield. This time, by introducing it to our Japan office, we will be able to evaluate how effective and applicable it is in a Japanese workplace setting where the office population density is higher than elsewhere. In addition, it is also true that many employees are getting tired of working from home, and we believe that it is our corporate responsibility to provide a safe workplace where employees can work with peace of mind.”

Some of the key features of the 6 Feet Office concept being trialed at the Cushman & Wakefield Japan office include:

  • Alternate desks in zigzag formation to ensure social distancing
  • Increased awareness of office users through installation of guidance signs
  • Introducing one-way traffic in the office and setting designated doors for entrance and exit
  • Change management for staff to adapt to the rapidly changing environment
  • The distribution of PPE (masks and sanitizer) to the returning office workers
  • The provision of disposable desk pads
  • A limit to the number of people in meeting rooms
  • Providing temporary temperature measurement for visitors
  • Designated isolation rooms for those who shows any symptoms or feel sick
  • The sanitization of meeting rooms after every use
Dr Hideaki Suzuki, Head of Research & Consulting for Cushman & Wakefield in Japan, has provided analysis on how the 6 Feet Office concept is able to help employers balance safety with effective space utilization. “Many business leaders are seeking a solution to help reopen their offices while minimizing additional costs as the economy starts to contract. The 6 Feet Office approach suggests changes in the way that workplaces are used, rather than the fundamentals of workplace layout.

“As a result of this, while it is true that there are many cases where the volume of office space used per person increases, we’re also seeing an equal number of cases where business can deploy the concept without increasing overall office footprint. This can be achieved by returning employees at different stages and by embracing teleworking as a new normal for suitable roles and employees.

Cushman & Wakefield has published “Recovery Readiness: A How-To Guide For Reopening Your Workplace”, which is based on the experience gained from supporting the return of nearly a million employees working for 10,000 companies to offices across 800 million square feet managed through a joint venture with Vanke Service in China. The guide is available for download here.


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