As many office managers of essential businesses work to protect their office staff businesses that are still closed start thinking about how to prepare their offices to reopen, the most fundamental concern is keeping the environment safe and sanitary. Every company has the responsibility to take active measures to promote clean working environments. Here are some things that you can do to make your office safe and sanitary.
The best way to keep your office sanitary during COVID-19 is to have your office professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Use a professional office cleaning services provider that is experienced in addressing sanitary concerns. If you’ve previously observed that a cleaning company who you’ve worked with hasn’t done thorough work, you can’t expect them to do thorough work during this time when thorough cleaning is so important.
Keep hand sanitizer in addition to sanitizing antibacterial wipes near all employee workstations. When sanitizing wipes are accessible, you’ll notice that a lot of your employees take the initiative to use them. Moreover, it will show employees that you’re making an effort to keep workplaces safe and sanitary. Ultimately, wiping down frequently touched surfaces like phones, light switches, and doorknobs can have a big impact on reducing the spread of germs.
Whether they’re healthy or sick, employees need tissues to get through their workday. It’s recently been observed that using tissues to scratch itches on your face can help reduce the frequency of hand to face contact. It may have the effect of helping people to reduce the spread of droplets that have coronavirus.
Having waste receptacles available near each workstation will help to keep employees at their own workstations. It will also prevent people from putting trash with germs on it near other employees’ workstations. It can have the added benefit of increasing productivity by sparing employees from needing to get up throughout their workday.
While it may be impractical to change the flow of your entire office building’s HVAC system, you may be able to shut off recirculation. Also, it’s been recommended to turn systems on approximately two hours earlier and leave them operating longer. The best course of action, however, is to leave your HVAC running continuously. Ideally, you should also try to introduce fresh air into your office environment by periodically opening windows.
If your staff isn’t free to take time off when they need it, they’re going to come into work sick. That’s a simple fact, and it’s something that virtually all office teams confront during cold and flu season. During a global pandemic, however, it’s simply unacceptable. If your company can’t afford to give your team paid time off, it’s absolutely necessary to provide unpaid time off at a minimum. If you fail to do this and people come in sick just to preserve their employment status, your entire team will be put at risk. Of course, as a part of your leave policy changes in response to COVID-19, you can request that individuals produce test results. However, you need to allow an exception if testing isn’t readily available, which is the case for most Americans right now.
If your workstations are grouped closely together, you’ll need to reconfigure your office space so that there’s at least 6-13 feet between workstations. Large open rooms full of employees should be avoided. Make use of space like empty conference rooms. If you have a large supply or storage closet, move the supplies and allow somebody to use it as a workspace. To the extent that you can, you might also consider allowing employees to change their hours to minimize the number of people using the same space at once. Continue to allow telecommuting for employees who don’t need to be present in the office.
Frequent professional cleaning, smart human resources policies, proactive changes to your office’s physical set-up, and providing sanitizing equipment for your staff can help your office’s personnel to stay safe. During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, employees will feel more safe and comfortable when their employer is conscientious about their safety.
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