Some people haven’t had the luxury of working from home during the recent outbreak. Hospital staff and grocery store employees, among others, have continued to put themselves in danger’s way for the good of the American people. However, as states begin to reduce restrictions, business owners must consider a safe return to the office for employees while COVID-19 continues to be a factor in everyday life.
Employees who have been working from home are now being asked to return to the office. Therefore, staying safe in an enclosed environment is a top concern for employees and business owners alike. Also, uncertainty causes a great deal of fear and anxiety.
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Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can lower your risks as your employees return to the office.
Keep Your Distance When You Return to the Office
As wonderful as it may be to see co-workers again, it’s still important to keep your distance as much as possible. Therefore, wear a mask and stay six feet apart in common areas.
Make sure visitors maintain a safe distance and wear masks when they enter. When large meetings are required, hold virtual events as much as possible. If you can’t escape that group meeting in the conference room, then ensure that everyone is wearing a mask. Also, make sure the chairs and positioned at least six feet apart.
Vigilance helps keep the spread of the virus at bay when you return to the office. Every time you touch a surface, wipe it down with disinfectant. Clean your hands often with sanitizer. Before touching your face or eating lunch, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
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Avoid touching door handles or other surfaces after hand washing. Encourage employees to use a paper towel when opening the bathroom door or lifting the coffee pot. Better yet, avoid using a shared coffee pot or shared coffee cups altogether.
Discuss Concerns as You Return to the Office
If you don’t think your workplace has effective plans in place to keep employees safe, be open about your concerns. Encourage employees to talk to you or their Human Resources manager about any concerns. It’s critical that the safety and well-being of all employees is the top priority of the company.
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Make sure management has given instructions to everyone about the importance of social distancing and wearing masks. Also, if possible, supply disposable masks and hand sanitizer. A return to the office is made safer with open communication.
Post Information When You Return to the Office
Sign companies already provide a variety of signs and labels focused on COVID-19 safety awareness. Reminders about keeping six feet apart and thoroughly washing hands are important gestures. They show that managers care about employees. Additionally, consider using flap tags to write personalized messages to your staff.
Encourage employees to avoid the workplace if they have a fever or feel sick. Communicate with them your understanding and appreciation for protecting each other. If an employee has COVID-19 symptoms, encourage them to get tested immediately. Your HR department must be alerted immediately if an employee tests positive after a return to the office.
Routine exercise and healthy eating habits can reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus. Smokers should consider using this time to break the habit. Employees should limit alcohol consumption as well. Alcohol can lower a person’s immunity to germs and increase the risk of other health problems.
You and your employees have already been dealing with a lot of stress at home. You’ve been worrying about how to pay the bills and keep your family safe. Lead your staff by taking some stress breaks throughout the workday to practice mindfulness. Calm your nerves with several deep, slow breaths to center your thoughts. Encourage employees to do the same when they return to the office.
A return to the office during COVID-19 is sure to bring with it a great deal of anxiety. You can offset that anxiety with planning and preparation. Then encourage your employees to follow these safety guidelines. With vigilance, you will get through this difficult time.