[This article was written by Meghan Belnap.]
From staff reductions to working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the way business is done. However, many companies are beginning to bring their employees back to the office. Whether you’re taking on a new job, returning to work after a furlough or moving from your living room back to a cubicle, consider these four changes to make your workplace safer in light of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Install Hand Sanitizer Stations
While washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to remove pathogens like the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it’s not always convenient. Hand sanitizer provides an effective alternative when you don’t have time to find a sink, so make touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers available throughout your office building.
Don’t Share Equipment
Multiple employees sharing items like telephone receivers, staplers, pens and other office supplies is a common office practice, but it’s also an excellent way to spread a virus. The virus that causes COVID-19 can live anywhere from a few hours to a few days on various surfaces. Help reduce the spread by providing each employee with their own dedicated supplies. Consider providing disposable sticks to punch elevator buttons and gloves or plastic wrap for using shared items like water coolers, microwaves and coffee makers.
Hire a Cleaning Service
While the COVID virus can last a long time on surfaces, regular cleanings are helpful in stopping the spread. A thorough cleaning can help remove the virus, but most busy offices don’t have time to disinfect all frequently touched surfaces every day. Consider hiring a commercial cleaning service to keep your office sanitary and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Professional cleaners also have expert knowledge about the safest and most effective methods to kill the virus.
Separate Work Areas
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people to reduce the risk of COVID-19, so place employees’ workstations at least six feet apart. Divide cubicles with solid plexiglass barriers for extra protection or in areas where you don’t have enough room to maintain the recommended distance. Employees should also wear masks or face coverings when they can’t keep their distance.
Although there are many ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 at the office, it’s always safer for employees to work from home as much as possible. Try allowing employees to work from home whenever practical, alternating home and office days or assigning specific employees to work from home. Consider making all meetings virtual so employees can join from home.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.