Things are strange at the moment for employers and employees, and working from home has become something that many people have had to do to keep themselves, their customers, and their colleagues, safe from the very real threat of COVID-19.
It might be that you have chosen to work from home for the foreseeable future because, once you were forced to do it, you realized there was no need for an office or any kind of workplace. However, this is not going to be the case for everyone, and if you do intend to open up your office once more when it is safe to do so, you are going to need to make it COVID-secure. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Carry Out A Risk Assessment
The very first thing that will need to be done when you are going to allow workers back into your office, or you’re going back yourself, is to carry out a risk assessment. Make sure that you can identify the main areas that are going to be affected by the coronavirus issue, and once you know where these areas are, you can put a plan in place regarding how to minimize the risk to anyone who uses them.
Before you start, check out the latest guidance about how the virus is transmitted, and what the rules are about how far people should be from one another, whether face coverings need to be worn, and what an employer needs to provide their employees. By factoring all of these ideas into your risk assessment of your office or building, you can ensure it is as safe as possible for anyone returning to work there.
Hygiene and Cleanliness
From the very start of the COVID-19 outbreak, hygiene and cleanliness have been part of the control of the virus, and this has not changed. Therefore, you will need to make sure that your workplace is as clean as possible. The best thing you can do is employ specialist hazmat cleaning contractors to cleanse the office space before anyone returns to work. In this way, you can be sure that all traces of any germs are removed and you are starting with what would effectively be a blank – clean – slate.
On top of this, it’s crucial to remind your team to wash their hands regularly. Put up posters to that effect so that everyone is aware of what they need to do, and make sure there is enough soap and cleaning products for everyone. Also, install plenty of hand sanitizing stations around the office so that the spread of coronavirus can be minimized as much as possible.
New Office Layout
Because everyone needs to stay six feet apart from anyone who is not in their specific home group, it might be that you need to think of a new office layout that means this can happen. If you have to remove some desks, for example, or move the desks that you have so there is more space between them, then this must be done.
Alternatively, if you don’t need to use all the desks, you can leave them all in place but put signs on those that shouldn’t be utilized for work so that the desks themselves are barriers to protect your team.
This new office layout might be difficult to work out at first, and will potentially need a lot of thought put into it to make sure that no one is put at risk by having to work too closely to other people.