The post-coronavirus world looks a lot different from the pre-coronavirus world. Evidence of this new virus and its impacts can be seen everywhere you look. As states begin to reopen their economies, you may start to see some significant changes, if you haven’t already. One such change that went into effect early in the lockdown was the use of Plexiglass barriers. What was first seen in grocery stores to separate clerks and shoppers is now being installed in retailers and businesses everywhere.
Plexiglass isn’t foreign to iSpace Office Interiors. Some cubicle dividers and partitions we offer come from Plexiglass. However, seeing it in places that were once void of this kind of barrier is a bit strange. Still, it’s likely here to stay so let’s talk more about this material and why Plexiglass barriers are the new normal.
What is Plexiglass?
Plexiglass is technically not a glass, but rather it’s acrylic that’s made to be translucent and shatterproof. It’s a synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate, or plastic. First developed in 1928, the material wasn’t coined as Plexiglass until the 1933 trademark was registered.
These sheets of lightweight acrylic are a great alternative to glass and provide an excellent barrier between shoppers and clerks, bank tellers and customers, or even receptionists and patients. It’s sturdier than glass and can be made from a variety of UV-blocking materials and coatings for a more protective shield outdoors.
While seeing it pop up in new places may seem unusual, Plexiglass shouldn’t be new to anyone since it’s commonly used across several different industries, including sports and medical practices. It can even be used as a durable window option and is sometimes used in bathtubs to make them more slip-resistant and shatterproof.
Where You’ll Likely See It
To protect employees and customers alike, businesses around the world are using this type of acrylic and making Plexiglass barriers the new normal. Don’t be surprised if you start to see more of these barriers at the grocery stores, in the doctor’s office, at the bank, and restaurants.
To keep up with the reopening schedules and to encourage people to venture out from their homes, restaurants are using Plexiglass in one of the most creative ways: partitioning off individual tables to help keep the distance between patrons and other diners. Some are putting them on the backs of booths while others are putting them between individuals at the same table. While this may seem unusual, you may thank them should your date or guest send a sneeze in your general direction. Without the Plexiglass in place, you might find yourself consuming unwanted droplets from across the table.
Thanks to the virus, it looks like those once open and airy office spaces are resorting back to cubicle life. However, some businesses aren’t putting up fully assembled cubicles and are opting for translucent panes of acrylic between desks and down the middle of breakroom tables to separate their employees. This new office design still gives the feeling of an open office floor while encouraging social distancing in the workplace.
Furthermore, with the announcement that casinos could begin to reopen, many casino owners are looking to use these plastic panes between slot machines and as separators between card dealers and card players at each table. In Las Vegas, plexiglass barriers are now the new normal for all the casinos and are required to be installed before a casino can reopen to the public.
Equip Your Office
Plexiglass barriers are now part of the norm in this post-coronavirus world. But that doesn’t mean they have to be ugly or can’t go with your office décor. If you’re looking for a creative team to help redesign your office with plexiglass barriers in mind, contact us at iSpace Office Interiors today!