Designing For The Pandemic
In-house designers are missing some big opportunities to promote their company’s brand internally.
Photo by Brian Asare on Unsplash
When the pandemic started, the last thing I wanted to think about was work. When I started working from home, the last thing I wanted to think about was work too. But as I’ve gotten back into the groove of things I’ve noticed there’s a big missed opportunity in design at my workplace.
Now to be fair, I work in manufacturing (design and brand standards are only about 3 years old at my company). We don’t have a good process for approving proposals and budgets for our tiny 2 man team either. But with that being said, we still should be addressing many of the messages put forth by our company in a ‘branded’ way.
A great way to boost morale (especially if you’re forcing workers to come into the office during a pandemic!) is to provide your employees with masks. Pretty much all companies do this already, so why not add a bit of flavor and get branded, reusable masks. For one, they show off your company.
They also are more environmentally friendly and promote a better standard of dress for office workers. A lot of online retailers also provide an endless supply of design choices for a variety of prices. A quick google search turns up 200 reusable masks with custom branding for $563 ($2.82 per mask) but you can more options for as little as $378 ($1.89 per mask). If you’re a small company, this is a really affordable way to promote health, safety, and your brand all at once.
All companies should be sending out internal communications about COVID-19 and be transparent about the steps they are doing to protect their employees imo. Once of the easiest ways to do this is through email. It’s also one of the cheapest. For my company, we created a template for our HR and Safety teams to use whenever we had company updates in regards to COVID-10. They promote our brand, create continuity with our other emails, and keep our employees informed.
A Web Page
Speaking of digital communications, its important to keep all this information in one, easy to access place. If you have an internal website, such as SharePoint, it’s a good idea to create a COVID-19 response page. This may not be the best option if you’re working for a smaller company. But for larger companies where employees have a central information point, it’s a great opportunity. A central COVID-19 information page not only promotes the brand, it also promotes transparency. If employees know they can access their company’s policies and practices quickly and easily, they’ll feel more assured that their company cares for them.
I wasn’t really sure what to call this one, I’m sure there’s an actual word for it. But what I’m talking about is the signs that tell you to keep 6 ft apart or wear your mask. These are a great opportunity to push your companies brand! They’re literally everywhere in my facility and they put forth important information. The fact that they aren’t branded is a crime!
The next time you walk through your facility/office/workspace take a moment to note all the different types of COVID flyers. I know we have not only mask and social distancing signs, but also hand washing and a few others here and there. Take some time to redesign those signs to match your brand. It shouldn’t take long and it can make a big difference in the look and feel of your workplace. I know I am.