During these unprecedented, uncertain times, the offices must remain safe for the employees. Some companies haven’t yet managed to switch to remote work or don’t even plan to at all. In this case, specific procedures need to be implemented. Therefore, they must provide conditions and environment suitable for work in enclosed spaces.
Apart from the office, it’s a good practice for the workers to take all the necessary office safety procedures to avoid getting sick, too. The executives of the company can put out specific guidelines for that. It’s tough to make the office safe and even more so without the cooperation of the workers.
Good practices to follow during COVID-19 at the office
One of the essential things you need to do is the isolation of potentially infected employees. Consequently, have them stay at the home office and do a COVID-19 test. Encourage the workers to monitor if they have any signs of the illness. Moreover, implement procedures for reporting their symptoms and have the employees inform if they’ve been recently exposed to any sick people. Communication is critical here; you need to know such things to take the right steps to keep other people safe.
Executives should have procedures for keeping at least some portion of workers at their homes and have an environment suitable for remote work. Therefore, in case someone gets infected or suspects so, they can stay home and do their job.
As far as paraphernalia go, provide the office with multiple hand sanitiser dispensers and have your employees wear masks. If it’s possible, manage some more space for the workers, so they’re farther apart from one another. Furthermore, you can equip your office in no-touch trash cans, tissues, and disinfectants with at least 60% alcohol. As a result of that, your employees will feel safer at work. They will be less stressed out about that strange situation and, in effect, be more productive.
You can’t risk a potentially infected person into your office, as that would result in a catastrophe. For this reason, administer a policy where if people start developing symptoms, but don’t yet have their tests done, have them stay at home anyway. Indeed, it’s not that easy to just go to a doctor and get a notice these days. Let your employees stay at home whenever they need to take care of their sick relatives, too.
Provide training, guidelines and education about the pandemic. Furthermore, encourage them to limit their time spent out of their homes. Keep in mind that your employees might be concerned about pay, leaves, safety, health and other issues that might arise. Therefore, they might ask a lot of questions. Be patient in answering them and keep an empathetic attitude. Consequently, you will probably need to take an individual approach to each of your workers, as the situation is uncertain.
Implement workplace controls for your employees. You will need to keep an eye out for the workers to see if they’re wearing their masks and sanitise their hands often. Have them avoid touching each other too.
You wouldn’t want to meet people you don’t know and not knowing where they’ve been. For this reason, minimise contact with clients. Whenever it’s possible, talk to them via online platforms.
Another reasonable precaution worth considering is to implement alternating shifts. It would aim to reduce the number of workers that are at the office at one time. Because of fewer workers, you would be able to manage more personal space for them, too.
Hire someone to disinfect the whole office every day. All of the hardware, handles, desks and chairs need to be disinfected. Again, this practice can significantly reduce the spread of the virus, as it can stay alive for a few hours on objects.
Encourage the workers only to use their dedicated equipment when working. Don’t let them use their colleagues’ computers, desks, phones, etc.
It’s a pretty challenging endeavour to keep the office safe during the pandemic. Employers need to take many precautions and implement a lot of new policies. Remember, keeping the workers safe is essential for companies to conduct their business. While it’s impossible to make the office a completely safe place to work it, you can take a lot of steps to make it at least partially secure.