The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the use and quality of space at the workplace. A case of selected offices in Kampala.
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The Covid-19 pandemic hit the world unexpectedly and so, many sectors and people were gravely affected and among these was the work sector in all countries Uganda inclusive. After studying how the virus spread, WHO issued a number of guidelines and measures that had to be followed. Some of these were general while others were specific to the affected sectors and this included the workplace and all this was done to combat or even minimize the spread of the virus. When some people had to return to the workplace, it was not the same and so much change had taken place in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This research focused on selected offices in Kampala that were operating and following the SOPs as directed by the government of Uganda and the MOH on preventing the spread of the virus. With the review of available literature on office design standards and their future, observation, photography and interaction with the office occupants about the state of the offices before and during the pandemic, the research was conducted with the aim of finding out whether the changes that have happened at the workplace because of the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the design of the workplace in future and if some of these changes will be kept in an instance where people will be allowed to go back to work normally. Important to this research were the spatial qualities of the workplace before the Covid-19 pandemic versus the use and quality of space of the workplace during the Covid-19 pandemic and all these were weighed against the recommended office design standards by a number of authors and architects. At the time of the study, workers were slowly going back to office but they still had to observe SOPs and this meant that they had to work in a completely changed office environment, different from what they had before. The change that was going on was happening to the use of space as well as the quality of the space that workers occupied. The study finally concludes on how the workplace has changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic and recommendations are given based on the workplace issues that have been pointed out because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the change brought about by it.