Back to the Office: COVID-19 Office Safety
Quick Guide

Is your workplace ready for the new normal? As the implemented lockdowns are getting lifted, there are safety protocols your business can take to provide a safe work environment for your workers’ return. SocialSpace Inc. made a quick guide.

Prepare the building. Coordinate with landlords on new policies and connect with vendors on procedures to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Prepare your team. Communication is vital during this time. New office rules must be thoroughly communicated with employees. Companies must deliberate which workers are needed in the office, and plan accordingly. The return of the workers should be gradual so as to reduce their health risk. For example, you could bring workers back in the reverse order in which they would be sent home to work.

As workers return, it is important to display empathy as navigating through the “new normal” and being thrust outside their homes wouldn’t be easy and would cause high anxiety over the virus.

Control access. The policies enforced by the government must be followed such as disclosure of health conditions, temperature checks, sanitation, etc. There should be guidelines on how to maintain social distancing and a plan focusing on high traffic areas: entry and exit points, lobbies, and elevators.

Set social distancing policies and reconfigure worksites. In order to decrease the density, guidelines must be strictly followed, foot traffic patterns are studied, and installing shields if deemed necessary. Set lower capacity thresholds for common areas and small spaces.

To add more distance between employees, reconfigure your worksites. The sharing of equipment and workstations must be discouraged. Physical barriers and indications for distance can be used to help guide employees or customers on where to walk and to maintain the recommended distance.

Reduce touch points and increase cleaning. Make a plan to mitigate risk in all high-traffic areas and touchpoints of your workspace, additional cleaning and disinfection must be included. Support your employee hygiene by keeping tissues, hand sanitizer, soap, disinfectants readily available to all your employees.

Take your safety protocols a step further and integrate technology solutions to help slow the spread of bacteria and viruses such as hands-free options for doors, antimicrobial hardware, switch to mobile credentials and cloud-based security systems, etc.

Transparent and consistent communication. During these challenging times, transparent and continuous communication is really important. Listen and collaborate with your landlords and vendors to ensure health and safety, setting clear employee expectations, and recognizing the fear they may feel in return.

While adjusting your workplace to adapt to the “new normal” may be challenging - complex and in phases, it is crucial to approach the back to the office with caution to ensure the health and safety of not just your employees but all your stakeholders. While personal hygiene is vital, strict guidelines, increasing security measures and cleaning protocols, and constant communication is also important in preventing the virus from spreading in your workplace.

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