Almost three-quarters into 2020, the COVID threat is still not entirely over yet. Even so, to keep the economy running, states across the United States are slowly easing up on social distancing restrictions.
What does this mean for you? More likely than not, a return to the workplace is imminent. Still wary of workplace safety in the current situation? We have some simple tips and guidelines you can suggest to your employer to implement to help keep everyone in the workforce safe during these uncertain times.
Mask on for Entry
Countries in Europe are making it a mandated rule for all the wearing of masks in all workplaces to prevent the situation from escalating into a lockdown again.
For your own safety in the workplace, there should be no exceptions. Customers and employees alike should adhere to this basic protocol to limit the spread of the virus.
While it may be a little uncomfortable, it is definitely a worthwhile trade off to stay out of a lockdown and allow businesses to keep running.
Sick People Stay Home
Sick employees must be allowed to work from home and keep out of the office. No one should be coming to the workplace when he is unwell. There is too much we do not know about the virus to leave things to chance.
Make sure your employer strictly enforces this – if you see something that makes you feel like your well-being is threatened, do highlight it to your supervisor.
Portable Sneeze Guards & Protective Panels
Sneeze guards and protective panels are all the rage in the modern workplace as an effective way to get employees and customers alike to adhere to social distancing.
From placing they as desk dividers to barriers at the point of purchase where there tends to be higher human traffic, sneeze guards and protective panels help to keep employees protected from the virus.
Worried about them looking out of place? Not to worry. They are typically made of acrylic glass, also known as cheap plexiglass, which is clear just like glass but without the glare. After a while, you will not even notice it is there. Clear, lightweight, sturdy and shatterproof, it is the perfect barrier to install on premise at a workplace! Plus, it is incredibly easy to set-up!
Places they are typically installed at:
- Reception counters at medical centers and hospitals
- Desk partitions in office workspaces
- Café, grocery stores, retails stores and many other point-of-purchase (POP) counters
- And many more
If your workplace does not already have one, make sure you feedback this to your employer! Safety first!
Re-Organize Sitting Arrangements
Apart from the newly installed protective polycarbonate glass, you can consider suggesting an overhaul of sitting arrangements or layout in the office to allow everyone in the workplace to keep a safe distance apart. Given the situations, this also means avoiding hot-desking is for the best at the moment.
Consider leaving alternate work desks empty or spacing out the work desks, to allow employees to keep to the suggested six feet apart. Another common solution these days: employees are now allowed to work in private meeting rooms or work pods.
Clean and Sanitize Your Personal Workspace Daily
While many employers have stepped up the cleaning regime in the workplace, increasing the frequency of cleaning and all – it is still important that we take responsibility for our own space.
Keep sanitizing supplies within reach at all times. Make sure you keep your workspace clean and sanitized at the start and at the end of every workday. Wipe down your desk and hands when you receive parcels or documents from others. Use an anti-bacterial wipe to sanitize any common room object you might handle.
It may sound like a chore, but it is your well-being at risk.
Stay Alert in Common Spaces – Meeting Rooms & Break Rooms
Common spaces are the riskiest spots in the workplace – thanks to the number of people who go through the interior space every day. So, what can you do? Stay alert.
Make sure you do the following:
- Sanitize surfaces before using them (e.g. microwave buttons, refrigerator handles, meeting room chairs, etc.)
- Use your own bottle or cup – do not use shared utensils in the break rooms
- Wash your hands after handling any commonly used object in a common space
- Always keep your mask on
- Try to eat at your desk or with a small (well-spaced out group)
While it is important for your employer to take care of your safety at work, it is also your shared responsibility to keep yourself safe! Help to assess the situation and bring up your concerns and suggestions to your employer in a professional manner.
Have more ideas on making the workplace safe in this COVID-19 environment? Share with us in the comments below.