Now that the world has started to slowly reopen, many businesses have begun to return to normal operations. Offices and stores are opening their doors with new safety guidelines in place to help limit the community spread of COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that there is less risk involved when it comes to transmission of the illness.
The virus itself has not gone away, nor does it appear to be disappearing in the near future. This means that the risk of contracting the virus needs to be taken into account as offices reopen and things return to business as usual.
What are the best practices to stop COVID-19 transmission?
There are many things one can do to limit the spread of COVID-19 – both in terms of catching it while at work and passing it on to coworkers. The first thing one must do in the case of coming down with symptoms of the virus is leaving work immediately or calling in sick. Employers can make sure that their employees feel safe to do so by adding sick days to their contract or giving them the opportunities they need to work from home if necessary and possible.
Hand sanitization stations should also be added for employees so they can regularly disinfect when they come into work or return after breaks. Employees will also be required to practice the general guidelines such as social distancing, sneezing or coughing into the elbow as opposed to the hand, and frequent, thorough hand-washing. Giving workers the proper tools to limit the spread of the virus is of the utmost importance when it comes to stopping further transmission within the confines of the office.
Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19
In close quarters such as many offices, social distancing measures need to take place. This means that desks or cubicles that were once pushed together should be placed no closer than six feet apart, and common areas where employees gather should be closed completely or open with limited entry.
Ensuring proper disinfection is taking place should also be a top priority for employers reopening their offices. This includes regular and strict cleaning schedules of frequently touched surfaces, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Hiring more staff to help with cleaning duties is necessary if it can’t be done up to par without more hands on deck.
Implementing new training programs for employees will also be a great help in the battle against the further community spread of COVID-19. Training could include tips on how to social distance, new rules against sharing and borrowing equipment unnecessarily, and cleaning practices.
Best health practices
There are certain best health practices you can push for when reopening your business to help keep all of your office workers safe, healthy, and able to work. They include:
Staying home or working remotely
Many jobs can be done remotely. If this is the case with your office, remote work can be a great help in not only limiting the spread of the virus but also curbing the numbers of employees in the office at any given time. Allowing some employees to stay home will also help with the reconfiguration of the office, which will make room for further social distancing measures.
Although it’s not something that can be made mandatory, giving employees new training or programs geared towards proper nutrition could help greatly in the battle against COVID-19. Nutrition plays a huge role in health, and when it comes to a pandemic situation, taking care of the body has never been more important.
Employees should be well equipped with the knowledge they need to eat healthily. Implementing a training program with information regarding hydration, vitamins and nutrients essential to fight off disease, and coping with the stress they may feel could all lead to positive outcomes. Both employees and managers should be provided with the information they need to work productively without sacrificing their health.
Tracking and managing cases
It may not be inevitable that a case will appear in your office – however, the risk is still fairly high. Giving employees access to proper testing, such as Infectolab’s PCR and serology testing, could help expedite the process if someone does fall ill. Infectolab can also assist in tracking and managing the spread in the office, which will limit how far and wide the infection goes within your business.
How to redesign offices to reduce coronavirus spread
When it comes to figuring out how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in your office, redesign can be a great aid. If all workstations were previously pushed closely together, spreading them out to adhere to the six-feet-apart guidelines may take up more room, but it will also keep people apart. This will be even easier to do when more people are working remotely.
Avoiding the virus may be difficult, but following these guidelines will make it easier to prevent further spread within your office. To summarize, the five best ways to minimize transmission of the COVID-19 virus in your office include:
- Staying home or working remotely
- Implementing proper health training programs
- Adhering to general guidelines such as social distancing, wearing masks, and proper handwashing techniques
- Redesigning your office to limit contact among employees
- Testing, tracking, and managing cases
Things have to return to a semblance of normal, and it was only a matter of time before the economy had to reopen. That doesn’t mean that the widespread infection rate has to continue. By following these guidelines, your office will be well-equipped to manage any occurrence of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Featured image by Hunters Race on Unsplash