Across the nation, teams are clamoring to get back into their office space and as the spread of the COVID-19 virus slows, most offices are.
Yet, to open, most companies need to take some precautions to prevent future spread. In this article, we address several considerations companies should address when re-opening.
General Office Protocol
Many larger companies have installed temperature checking stations at the front door of the office building to prevent anyone with a fever from entering the premises. For smaller offices, companies need to encourage their employees to monitor their health and surroundings. If they believe they have been exposed to the virus, employees should be encouraged to self-isolate for up to 2 weeks.
Additionally, if an employee does have noticeable symptoms, they need to first, stay at home. Second, the employee should notify their employer so the employer can identify others that may be impacted to prevent further spread. Having safety meetings is important to remind employees about the safety protocols.
Signs should be visible everywhere encouraging the use of hand sanitizer, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
Without a doubt, teams have all had to learn about better use of technology to adapt to a work-from-home environment. But as teams return to the office, the desire to return to the use of meeting rooms will also return. Limit in-person meeting attendance. Instead, encourage some employees to continue to use conferencing tools we have all become so comfortable with.
Gathering spaces such as conference rooms, kitchens, and lobbies, need to have the furniture spaced out or even removed to encourage social distancing. Some offices have implemented the use of traffic patterns through space to discourage gathering or clustering of people.
Office Work Areas
From a seating perspective, desks should be reorganized so they are at least 6-feet away from one another. For offices where space and furniture make this impossible, plastic shields should be installed to limit person-to-person exposure.
Sanitizing Stations and Cleaning
Hand sanitizing stations should be visibly placed near the front entrance and by any high-touch areas such as stairs or frequently accessed spaces. Other high-touch areas such as refrigerators, sink handles, door handles, should be frequently cleaned using disinfectant wipes. The disinfectant wipes should be readily available encouraging everyone to participate in keeping the area clean. And, keeping personal space clean.
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It Takes A Village
We have all heard of the threat of a resurgence of the virus. To prevent this now and in the future, everyone must do their part. Whether you are going to the store, another community event, or the office, everyone must continue to be diligent to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus.
As a culture, particularly in the United States, we have often adopted the “tough-it-out” mentality. Meaning, we went into the office feeling far less than 100% because we didn’t want to look weak. But today, we need to take a different approach. We must learn to take our sick time or at the very least, quit exposing others to our illness.
What things are you doing at your office to encourage people to be safe?