Last week, the government announced that if you can’t work from home, you should return to your workplace. Looking to the near future, offices, retailers, and other businesses will also have to fire up the engines once more and get their staff back on site. But are you ready to get back to work? In this article, we give a brief run-down of what you can do to get your office COVID-safe in the short and long term.
Short term, the best way to make your office COVID-safe is to keep the virus out in the first place. Make sure your staff are well aware of COVID-19 symptoms and given specific instructions to stay at home should they experience any of them. You should also consider implementing flexible sick leave or even create your own mini contact tracing initiative with the support of HR.
You should help your employees follow more stringent hygiene requirements by supplying copious hand sanitiser and reminding them to frequently wash their hands. You can also recommend they wear cloth face coverings. It’s also crucial to make sure employees can maintain social distance by spacing out workspaces, laying floor stickers for guidance, and discouraging greetings such as handshaking.
Looking to the future
Long term, social distancing is going to transform workspaces. Employers need to re-think their office layouts to ensure employees are kept at a safe distance from each other and consider how to make their offices as contactless as possible. Significant investments should be made in smart technologies to operate lighting, air conditioning, and hot-desking should be made a thing of the past.
Get back to work
Making our workplaces COVID-safe is crucial to economic recovery. Managers have a central role to play in both the short and long term. This will require some thought – but an examination of the way we work will be crucial to regaining some stability.
By supporting employees to maintain social distance and investing in innovative, COVID-safe tools, we can work together to make our workplaces more resilient to threats like coronavirus.