Feeling Comfortable & Safe Back in the Office
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, a vast number of employees across the country have been working from home. While on the surface, this was a necessary and logical shift early on, studies show that it also resulted in loss of productivity due to numerous distractions and Zoom fatigue. As mass vaccination continues, many workers are ready to return to the office as long as companies can ensure a safe and comfortable work environment.
Here are some recommendations put forth by the government and healthcare officials to help make the transition back into an office setting feel safe and comfortable.
Stay Updated On & Follow CDC Guidelines
CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines are continuously revised to enable businesses to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 transmission in the workplace to help ensure healthy office space. Everyone in the workplace must familiarize themselves with these guidelines. Visit the CDC website to review the full list of guidelines and recommendations for Covid-19.
Continue Social Distancing
Social distancing has been one of the mainstays of preventing the transmission of Covid-19. Companies are encouraged to place markers or tape on flooring to indicate where people should stand in the hallways, cashier lines, and corridors as well as place furniture in the same distance intervals in common areas to ensure employees and customers comply with the six feet rule. This will help to create a healthy workspace and avoid large gatherings.
Enforce Face Coverings in Common Areas
The CDC also recommends face coverings be worn in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission such as common spaces, meeting rooms, break rooms etc. to reduce the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask in public is most important for people who are immunocompromised. Enterprising companies, co-working and meeting space providers such as Office Evolution provide disposable masks for their employees and visitors who inadvertently forget theirs at home or in the car.
Be Diligent About Disinfection Protocols
To provide a healthy office space, easy access to handwashing facilities should be provided for all employees/staff. Also, staff should be encouraged to wash hands regularly, especially after touching inanimate objects, coughing, or sneezing. Portable alcohol-based sanitizers can also be installed in high-traffic areas to promote a healthy workspace.
Staff should wipe their workstations regularly with disinfecting wipes. Areas of the business which are touched frequently like chairs, doorknobs, doorbells, restroom counters, computers, photocopies, fax, etc. should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at least once a day to lower the risk of germ transmission to promote a healthy office space.
Provide a Hybrid Work Model
The work world has learned this past year that businesses can be productive and create results in a virtual setting. However, collaboration among colleagues is the most important aspect of in-office work arrangements. According to Forbes, American workers surveyed who can work remotely, 74% would prefer to spend at least one day in an office environment post-COVID-19, with 30% looking to work from a space outside the home two or three days per week. Inc. Magazine suggests that implementing a hybrid work model will allow businesses to stay safe in avoiding too many people in a small space but still give employees access to an office/outside of home environment. An advantage to this new work model, companies can utilize coworking office spaces or private office space rentals instead of the financial burden of owning or renting a full office building.