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Power Needs Change With the Times

As more workers start to return to offices, facility managers need to find ways to improve safety. Everyone is looking forward to a post-Covid world but workspaces are changing. And those changes require solutions to power the new dynamics of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Mike Crider of the Fishco Group presented an overview of the trends and needs in power systems designed to assist facility managers as more workers return to buildings. More than two dozen members attended the virtual discussion on “Come Back with Power” on March 24.

The manufacturers’ representatives noted that workers will eventually return but the new workspaces continue to change beyond what anyone could have imagined. Both personal and collaborative spaces must be designed for increasing technology, flexibility in remote and in-office use, and health and well-being.

Office space trends include more room for social distancing, enhanced air filtration systems and touch-free devices. Biophilic elements are increasing occupant connectivity to the natural environment using direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.

These trends will last for years, Crider said.

Outdoor spaces remain a key component to enhance safety, well-being and connectivity. But facility managers need to deploy the right power systems rather than haphazard, unattractive and unsafe workarounds.

Options to address the outdoor power issues include charging stations for both power and USB outlets, solar charging systems, weather- and corrosion-resistant ground power boxes, power pedestals, and temporary cable protectors and PDUs.

Inside, office furniture now contains both electrical and USB outlets for convenience and growing technology devices. The furniture with built-in power crosses the board: workstations, dining and social settings, lounges and collaboration spaces. MODPower options offer flexibility as workspaces change.

Health and safety can be enhanced with touchless control systems for power in high-traffic spaces and frequently touched spaces and surfaces. As areas get cleaned more frequently and rigorously, facility managers should consider chemical-resistant switches and outlets with stainless steel or nylon wall plates.

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