In a rapid change from pre-2020 life, many COVID-era offices have found working from home to be not only possible but effective. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country have either worked from home in their fields, taken a leave of absence or been temporarily laid off due to the pandemic.
Even with the new variants of COVID-19, the understanding of what combats the virus means the world is opening up again…and workplaces along with it. Even with the reopenings, it’s just as important as ever to maintain vigilance against spreading or contracting COVID-19. So, what can you do to stay safe as you return to work?
1) Ask Questions
You have a responsibility to protect yourself and your co-workers. But the organization for which you work also has a responsibility to provide a safe work environment. Ask your employer what their protocol and safety measures are before you decide if returning to work is the right fit for you and your family. It’s also fair to ask how they intend to enforce the precautionary measures. After all, rules and regulations are only useful when they are followed.
Some ideas include:
- Staggered schedules to reduce the number of people in the office at a time
- Plexiglass partitions
- Spacing workstations or not desk sharing
- Not sharing keyboards
- Reducing shared things such as communal coffee pots
- Sanitizing high-touch surfaces, such as elevator buttons, door handles etc.
2) Avoid Confined Spaces
We know commuting is good for the environment…but not right now. Since it’s pretty impossible to stay six feet apart while sitting in a vehicle, press pause on sharing rides unless the person you’re commuting with is in your household. Avoid crowded elevators. If you can, either take the stairs or wait for an elevator with only one or two other people. This may mean you also need to speak up if you’re already on the elevator and ask coworkers to please wait for the next one.
3) Avoid Common Areas
Let the great outdoors be your breakroom if you need to get away from the desk for a few minutes. Avoiding places like breakrooms and cafeterias, where space is limited and mask wearing isn’t happening because of eating or drinking, is important to preventing the spread of coronavirus.
4) Practice Good Mask Wearing and Hand Hygiene
Some of the best ways to prevent the spread still apply in the workplace. Wear your mask properly (fully covering the nose and mouth) and wash your hands well and frequently. If handwashing is not possible, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to kill germs.
5) Sanitize Your Workstation
Frequently wipe down your desk, chair and high-frequency touch points with disinfectant wipes. An outbreak can trigger and spread quickly if employees become complacent in the battle against COVID-19. Continue to do your part to stay well and protect your fellow humans.
And finally, please stay home if you are sick.
When you are buying supplies to return to work, reach out to Empire Managed Solutions for your hand sanitizing needs. Contact Empire Managed Solutions at (904) 343-5750 for questions or to place an order.
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