As more people are getting vaccinated, many companies are planning for the return of their employees to the office. Several people are still hesitant to face the world outside because there are still risks of COVID-19. Even when you get vaccinated, you can still potentially carry the virus and spread it to others. That’s why you should carefully prepare the workplace to safely accommodate your employees once they start working on-site again.
Governments require several safety protocols, and these should be followed in every business premises. So the strict implementation of these requirements is crucial to assure the safety of every employee. And because of social distancing, your company will most likely not be able to operate in full capacity.
Nonetheless, you can consider transitioning to a hybrid workplace that operates with both WFH and office-based employees. Here are some smart tips in optimizing your workplace for COVID-19 prevention for your employees’ return to the office.
Strict Compliance with the Social Distancing Guidelines
Physically distancing yourself from others is one of the best ways to avoid contracting the coronavirus. This is hard to do in companies if you will operate in your normal work environment. So it is crucial to physically separate your employees in each area of your workplace through well-thought methods. Renovating or changing the layout of your office space is your best option to assure compliance with the social distancing guidelines.
You can redesign your office flow to promote one-way foot traffic so that your employees can avoid the need to navigate the workplace close to one another. Configuring partitions like plastic shielding is also recommended to increase the prevention of any possible spreading of the virus. Most importantly, the workstations of each employee should be distanced from one another. You must make sure that there is adequate space in between their desks and other office furniture.
Improve Overall Workplace Ventilation
It is vital for you to make plans to improve the quality of air flowing in your office to reduce the risks of airborne COVID-19 transmission. You can do this by controlling your workplace’s ventilation based on the recommended ventilation levels. The goal is to increase the percentage of outdoor air flowing within your company’s premises to generally lower the concentrations of indoor air contaminants.
Because COVID-19 is an airborne virus, you can consider partly opening your windows to avoid enclosed airflow. You can also consider having window air conditioners with an outdoor air intake or vent. It is also essential for you to assess the condition of your ventilation equipment see if you need air conditioning repair services. That is because they may not have been used for some time because of the pandemic restrictions.
Strengthen Cleaning Protocols
Improving your office’s sanitation protocols to meet the demands of the current situation is as important as meeting the social distancing guidelines. Without proper sanitation, your efforts to physically distance your employees to lower the risk of coronavirus transmission will be useless. That’s because anyone can easily contract the virus once they touch infected surfaces.
You can increase cleaning frequency since the virus can survive on various surfaces. It will also be better to encourage your employees to disinfect their personal workspaces after use. Emptying trash cans every day is also essential, especially if they have anything perishable. Just as importantly, you should make sure that your cleaning staff is adequately trained. They should know about the safety protocols and have the right PPE for sanitation during the pandemic.
Invest in No-touch Amenities
Creating optimal conditions for employees working on-site is very important to ensure safety and quality work performance. Critical investments, such as no-touch amenities, can help you do this. It can promote less physical contact with usually touched surfaces and reduce the risks of surface transmission.
You can set up pre-entry contactless wellness checks for the health screenings and verification of your employees. This may include handheld contactless thermometers and QR code-based immunity passports. Walkthrough cleanse portals are also great for sanitizing anything or anyone that enters your company’s premises. You can also invest in automatic doors, sensor faucets, and electric sensors for elevators to detect finger movements in the air.
You should consider many things to adapt to the new normal and support your employees returning to the office. As many are reluctant to do so because of the current danger, it’s your responsibility to assure their health and safety. Creating a safer and more pleasant work environment amid the pandemic is vital in ensuring quality business operations.