As we are starting to get back to ‘normal’ and lockdown restrictions are eased further, we are in a position of being encouraged to go back to work. Many of us worked throughout lockdown, but often from home. Now, the prospect of going back to the office is very real and employers are taking steps to make sure their staff will be safe back at their desks.
All cleaning schedules should be reviewed and enhanced programmes introduced before people start to return. Being clear with your team about what is new and what is being done to protect them will be reassuring to staff, especially those who are nervous about returning.
Many readily available disinfectants are effective in killing coronaviruses and should be used regularly, especially on ‘high touch areas’ such as door handles. Make sure staff have access to their own work station with desk and chair, or that they are able to clean equipment in between uses if sharing is unavoidable.
It might be necessary to update or change procedures in the office and if that is the case, be sure to communicate clearly with all stakeholders. Businesses are providing masks for staff, and where keeping a distance is not possible, putting screens in place between desks.
Don’t forget pieces like a draughtsman chair, perhaps by a lectern or whiteboard, where ‘solo occupancy’ might not be possible. Consider removing the chair, or introducing additional cleaning. Similarly, a draughtsman chair at a checkout might be used by several members of staff in the same day so perhaps restricting the number of staff per checkout and using more tills could be a sound adaptation to process.
Be respectful of space
There are still restrictions in place and COVID-19 has not disappeared. Socially distancing must be adhered to and many businesses are putting up signs to remind people to keep their distance. If appropriate, there might be markers on the floor, but that isn’t always necessary. Avoid physical greetings and keep your distance.
Open a window
Effective ventilation is important in reducing the transmission of coronavirus and something as simple as opening a window can make a big difference. With the weather starting to cool however, using an extractor fan will be similarly effective.
We are still all in this together, and heightened cleaning regimes will be in place for some time to come.