Sunday, September 25

6 Safe Ways to Keep Working in Office During the Pandemic

After months of social isolation and remote work, we can finally return to the office. Yet, coronavirus is still out there. We need to find ways to address exposure risks and their sources. Making the office safe for everyone involves a range of areas: from environmental design to employee training. By adjusting the work environment and observing general precautions, we can alleviate concern and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the office.

1. Facility Preparation

The first step is to prepare the office space for reopening. It will require some configuration changes due to COVID-19. The first step is to assess the possible transmission risks. It includes identifying activities that might cause transmission, exposure risks, and vulnerable groups of employees. It will help you to develop a practical action plan to make the office safe.

Review the position of seats and furniture in accordance with physical distancing recommendations. Employees should not face each other while they are working. Places that are visited frequently can be safer if they are supplied with touchless technologies. It is crucial to regulate the use of common areas and set certain restrictions, including the maximum number of people, time, and purpose. 

2. Workplace Flexibility

In times like this, it is vital to have flexible work policies. They will encourage employees to stay home when they or their family members feel sick. If necessary, update sick leave policies so that they provide more flexibility and protection for employees. Keep people notified about the changes and provide information on medical care and worker health and safety. 

If possible, offer employees an option to work from home or change shift hours. To eliminate exposure and protect workers, some companies keep certain positions remote long-term. For example, an admission essay writing service thrive regardless of the work mode. Face-to-face communication does not influence their ability to write quality papers and help students get into a dream college. 

3. Social Distancing

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, employees should work observing social distancing. It is recommended to stay at least 2 m apart from each other. How to achieve this in the office?

  • outline areas with tape or paint
  • place reminders of the recommended distance (2 m)
  • add partitions between desks if they are located close 
  • discourage movement around the office

Sometimes it is impossible to avoid face-to-face communication in the office. In such cases, limit it to 6 people and keep meetings as brief as possible. A safer option is to hold virtual events using video conferencing tools. 

4. Air Conditioning and Ventilation

Ventilation is crucial. Fresh air in the office space allows decreasing aerosol transmission risks. Start by identifying poorly ventilated areas in the office building. These are places without open windows and doors or areas with recirculated air with no outdoor air supply. 

Air rooms as often as possible. It is better to open windows and doors completely when the office is not occupied. Besides, they should not be completely closed when people are using the space. Mechanical ventilation can also increase the supply of fresh air. Make sure you maximize ventilation considering the number of employees who work in the office. 

5. Cleaning and Hygiene

It goes without saying that everyone should wash hands regularly and use sanitizers. Set a disinfection routine and prepare clear protocols to follow. All surfaces need regular cleaning. The workplace of each employee should be completely disinfected after every working day. Surfaces in common areas (handles, buttons in the elevator, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, electronic devices, etc.) require even more frequent cleaning. 

The office space should have enough cleaning supplies. Encourage employees to disinfect all surfaces, including equipment like keyboards, mouses, phones, etc. It is especially important after using common areas. Furthermore, disposable items are safer than reusable ones. 

Offering communal meals at the office is not an option anymore. Instead, you can switch to individually wrapped snacks and encourage employees to bring their own mugs and bottles. Cafeterias can work only if their occupant capacity is reduced. 

6. Communication and Training

Employees need to be prepared to go back to the office. Employers should keep them informed about the changes in the work environment and provide training before reopening. This includes offering resources to raise awareness about the transmission, symptoms, and prevention of COVID-19. 

The central pillar of the reopening process is transparent communication. Employees should have the possibility to express their concerns and ideas regarding the new work environment. Furthermore, when employees are informed about workplace health and safety measures, they feel less concerned about returning to the office. This also helps to ensure that everyone will follow new guidelines and protect themselves and the people around them. 

Safety Comes First

The work environment has changed for everyone. No matter how much we want to return the way it was before, the pandemic calls for a more responsible attitude to health and safety. The basic solution is to establish a regular cleaning and disinfection routine, improve ventilation, and limit in-person communication. These are simple rules, but they ensure that every employee feels safe coming to the office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.