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The evolution office desk screens

We may regard open-plan offices as a relatively modern invention, but in fact, they go back more than a hundred years to 1906 when the Larkin Administration Building, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, first opened its doors.

Offices with high noise levels – call centres are a prime example – still adhere to the cubicle system, but as quieter computer keyboards replaced typewriters the office began to open up again. Fabric covered acoustic panel desk screens became smaller and were only used between facing desks, or disappeared entirely.

Until Covid-19.

Social distancing screens (aka ‘sneeze screens’) enter the office vocabulary

As our gardens and countryside showed the first blossoming signs of Spring 2020, a strange new growth sprang up overnight in our offices. Large, transparent (and yet strangely intrusive) acrylic walls divided us from our colleagues.

Within days, everyone was talking about sneeze screens or social distancing screens as we adapted to our new, fish-tank environment designed to protect us from the unseen killer: Covid-19. Many early screens were flimsy and utilitarian, but they gave us the confidence to return to a safe workplace as the coronavirus pandemic swept the country.

Are social distancing screens here to stay?

Stringent social distancing measures, combined with a widespread vaccination programme, are now turning the covid tide. But as the UK slowly opens its doors again for business, will screens continue to be a feature of the office landscape?

It’s highly likely. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it must be how easily viral bacteria is spread by microscopic airborne particles and harboured by fabric surfaces such as traditional office divider screens.

Physical screens and regular sanitisation of hard surfaces are likely to be features of the office for a long time to come, maybe even permanently.

But how can we create a more permanent, aesthetically pleasing workplace environment that still offers the protection and practicality of easy-wipe acrylic desk screens?

The desk screen design for cleaner office spaces:

Aesthetically Pleasing

As a proud UK manufacturer, Rhino has taken sneeze screen design to the next level with its range of coloured acrylic desk screens. Available in 12 vibrant colours to coordinate with – or add a splash of colour to – any office décor, these screens are available in five standard sizes, or bespoke made to order for a minimum of 20 panels.

Rhino sneeze screens are designed with a rounded profile to eliminate the hazard of sharp corners, and a matt frosted finish that offers a degree of privacy while allowing an even spread of light around the office.

Easy to Install

The desk clamps included with the panels are suitable for screw-free fixing to desks up to 26mm thick, making the screens a versatile, modular component of office design that may require occasional reconfiguration.

Easy to Clean

All of Rhino’s desk screen solutions are made from smooth Perspex that is easily cleaned with a weak soapy water solution and a microfibre cloth. Avoid using any chemicals as this can sometimes lead to abrasion or corrosion on the edge of the acrylic.

Buy Your Desk Screens Today!

If you want to create a safe office environment now and for the future without compromising on interior design, call Rhino today on 01280 840293 or email sales@rhinocuttingmat.co.uk. You can also view the full range of sneeze screens for many different applications.