As we move back to phased normalcy and businesses prepare to get back to their offices, it’s imperative to keep in mind that we are not over the health pandemic yet. We must strive to find a new normal keeping the implications of the virus and it’s spread in mind.
If you too, are considering making the move back to your workplace, here are the ways you can plan and prepare to keep your office safe.
- Essential Employees Only
Don’t bring back your entire workforce back to office in one go. Phase in your employees starting with the ones who are most essential to working on-site. You can also opt for a rotational work policy for your employees.
- Set Up Sanitiser Stations Across Your Office
To minimise the risk of infection, set up sanitisers at crucial points such as at the entry, outside the washrooms, near coffee/tea machines, etc. Encourage your employees to sanitise their hands frequently.
- Revise Cleaning Schedule & Methods
Switch to a frequent cleaning schedule with more aggressive methods. Conducting daily deep cleaning and disinfection is essential to kill any possibility to infections. Pay special attention to surfaces like plastic and metal where the virus can survive for longer periods of time.
- Provision of Protection Gear
As a business-owner or manager, it is your duty to provide the cleaning and maintenance staff with the basic protection gear to prevent the spread of the infection. Since the cleaning teams are most exposed to the surfaces around the office.
- Minimise Touch Points
The spread of an infection can be greatly reduced by minimising touch points across frequently touched surfaces like door handles, elevator buttons, etc. Reduce contact with such points by leaving certain doors (with low security risk) open, disabling biometric access and implementing innovative ideas like adding toothpicks to press the buttons in the elevators.
- Social Distancing & Masks Mandatory
It’s crucial for businesses operating out of offices to closely follow government guidelines with regards to social distancing and masks. Reconfigure desks if required to increase spacing between employees. Limit the number of individuals allowed in small spaces like elevators, pantry and meeting rooms. Make sure all employees are wearing masks when walking around the facility or interacting with one another.
- Temperature & Symptom Checks
If you are working out of a tech park, managed space or co-working, there are likely to be temperature checks for everyone entering the premises your office is housed in. However, if your business operates out of a standalone building, do ensure you are keeping a check on the temperature of everyone entering the facility and are on the lookout for any virus symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.
- Visitor & Food Delivery Management
Unless absolutely necessary, defer all meetings involving visitors from outside your office. Discourage employees from ordering outside food and when required, make arrangements to have the food dropped off at the main gate/entrance of your building.
- Food At Desks
If you office has been following a practice of no eating at desks policy, it may be time for a change in the same. Limiting the use of common areas like the canteen and pantry is crucial in preventing the spread of the virus. Allowing employees to eat food at their desks will help in bringing down the spread.
- Prepare To Deal With Symptomatic Individuals
It’s crucial to direct efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at your office premises but it’s equally important to be prepared to deal with a possible case. Prepare a make-shift isolation area in your office where any employee showing the symptoms of the virus can be placed until the medical teams come in.