Tips To Make Your Office Safer During COVID-19

It is safe to say that one of the major ways COVID-19 has impacted our lives (asides healthwise of course) is in the way we work. If you are part of the lucky people who are able to retain their jobs in these times and even work from home, the questions on your mind (sooner or later; if you haven’t already returned to work physically) are “when is the best time to return?” followed “by how do I keep myself safe?”

Regardless of whether you are the one officially in charge of ensuring your office space has measures in place to keep everyone safe or you’re just a concerned employee, these tips will help give you things to consider as we all navigate these peculiar times we find ourselves in.

  1. Have A COVID-19 BootCamp: The last thing you want to do is assume. Don’t assume anyone knows everything they need to know when it comes to how the virus spreads and the safety precautions we need to adopt into our regular lives to do what we can to stay safe. This might seem repetitive but it is better to be safe than sorry. You can also use this as an opportunity to raise or answer questions related to staying safe from the virus that are specific to your industry or company like what happens if someone gets sick?

  2. De-densify spaces: If you have the room for it, rearrange sitting or workstations to ensure people have the distance recommended to stay safe. If your space is limited, you can consider putting people on a sort of rotation to create the same effect. You can also consider redesigning common areas to make it less comfortable for people to crowd around the same area at the same time, it doesn’t have to me major, something as simple as reducing the chairs in the meeting or break rooms could send the message that “too many people shouldn’t be here at the same time” subconsciously.

  3. Improve Ventilation: You might not have the funds or be able to carry out major changes to make this possible but if you can, it is definitely one to consider. As much as possible, ensure that your space is well ventilated. Increasing the ratio of fresh air intake to recirculated air can reduce the circulation of virus particles, especially in airconditioned spaces. Something as simple as opening windows can make a big difference.

  4. Behavioural Signage: So you had the Bootcamp and everybody knows the right thing to do but the sad reality is that we forget easily, a quick fix to this could be putting ups signage and markings to remind people of best practices. From signs reminding people to wear masks when interacting in groups to washing their hands and the maximum number of people that should be in a shared space at a time, placing these strategically around the office could go a long way in turning these practices into norms.

  5. Improve Cleaning: In general, your office space should always be clean but now, particular attention should be placed on high-touch areas like doorknobs, light switches, desks, staircase railings, toilets etc. these areas should be cleaned more frequently and with disinfectants for maximum effect.

  6. Sanitation Stations: You want to make it easy for people to follow these new practices and one way to do that is by setting up sanitation points in key areas in the office. This will help reinforce the importance of it and help them integrate it in their daily lives.

  7. Limit Touch-Points: One last thing to consider is looking over the daily operations of the office and where possible, reduce touchpoints. For example, if people need to sign in when they come in, this means they will have to touch the same pen/paper/iPad and remember to wash/sanitize their hands after, a safer way would be to eliminate the touchpoint by implementing a contactless system that lets them sign in without the risk of infection. Software like SafeTraxs allows you to achieve this.