When the US started imposing restrictions in late March due to the Coronavirus, more than 310 million Americans were urged to stay at home. This inevitably caused the closure of businesses and offices all over the country. Although world health leaders have continued to advise strict social distancing in the absence of a vaccine, some states have started to ease restrictions, allowing their constituents to re-open businesses and, to some extent, get on with life.
If you’re an employer who is planning to reopen your business or office soon, always have in mind that the fate of your office greatly relies on careful, strategic planning and the precise implementation of measures to stop the spread of the virus.
That said, here are some simple ways to maintain a Covid-free workplace in the new normal.
Minimize COVID Risk for Your Employees and Customers
Make cleanliness your priority
At this point, cleanliness is not just a virtue but a rule that everyone must follow in order to protect employees, contractors, clients, and customers. Countless infections are transferred through dirty hands and droplets of infected fluids. As such, minimizing media through which germs can be transmitted is one of the most effective ways to keep the workplace healthy.
Implement strict disinfection schedules for surfaces and furniture such as desks, tables, counters, door knobs, elevator buttons, and more. Everyday objects like telephones and keyboards may become resting grounds the virus and thus need to be wiped regularly.
Take hand-washing and sanitation seriously
Punctuality, promptness, and professionalism may have been the core values of your office. But during the new normal, sanitation should definitely be on top of your house rules. We’ve all been taught the importance of handwashing very early on, but we can all agree that only a small fraction of the population actually have great handwashing habits before the pandemic started.
Reinforce the practice of washing one’s hands by displaying posters and reminders all over the workplace. Make it a part of your new protocol until it’s firmly ingrained to your employees’ workflow. If you can install additional handwashing stations, even better.
To promote the practice of hand sanitiion (for when handwashing is impossible), install sanitizer dispensers in strategic and conspicuous spots in the office. Ensure that these dispensers are being regularly refilled. To prevent contamination, contactless automatic dispensers work best.
Good respiratory hygiene is a must
Authorities from various governing bodies have advised their people to wear masks regularly. Your workplace should not be an exception to this rule. Before entering the premises, your employees and customers should wear face masks that are to be kept on at all times. Trash bins should also be readily available in case someone needs to change masks during a shift.
Plan business trips in advance
Virtual meetings have replaced face-to-face business meetings. However, there still are instances when actual meetings for demos and site visits are necessary. Before going on a business trip, make sure to stay up-to-date with advisories and guidelines from both local and national authorities.
Having to conduct site visits can bring a lot of anxiety not only to your employees, but to your clients as well. For situations like this, we recommend taking advantage of available technology to promote and protect everyone’s health and peace of mind.
Tools like FeverIQ’s COVID Health Check can be used to screen employees for probable infections. Moreover, you can use the FeverIQ platform to put your customers at ease by sending your team’s health check results ahead of time. This technology banks on real-world data and was developed with the help of Standford medicine and engineering faculty, so you’re assured that the risk model they use is reliable.
Remind everybody to take care of themselves even when not at work
Taking care of oneself during a pandemic involves social distancing even outside the office. Out-of-office meeting and events may become trasmission hotspots if one member is a carrier of the virus. Also, whatever efforts you do to prevent your workers from being infected in the office can easily be rendered useless by a single employee who catches the virus someplace else.
In the event that one of your employees or customers turn out to be infected, contact tracing must be done. When this happens, having a dependable system for symptom tracking and compliance monitoring will make things a lot easier for you and everyone else involved. FeverIQ can also be used for this purpose.
Also read: Best Practices for Working From Home
A parting note
The pandemic certainly left a lot of damage especially for business owners and other employers. Trying to get back on your feet by reopening businesses and offices is understandable, but this must not be done at the expense of your employees’ and customers’ well-being.