Adapting Employee Safety Is Number One
During a time of uncertainty and concern, the number one thing businesses can control during this pandemic is the safety of their employees in their facilities or place of work. If you are one of the businesses that cannot fully function with your employees working from home, an essential business, you have some employees working from home and others at the office or your business is functioning in shifts, then reading this post is perfect for you!
In this post, we'll dive into the 11 important actions you can do around the office to keep your employees safe.
1. WEAR A MASK
Think of it like this, your mask is now an extension of your uniform or work clothes. Without your mask you are not allowed to work, so it's extremely important for your safety and the safety of your coworkers to wear your mask everyday. Just like you cannot enter a public place without your mask on, your workplace should mandate the same rule. If you've accidentally forgotten your mask at home, wear a cloth face covering such as a bandana or scarf, these are acceptable too.
2. WASH & SANITIZE HANDS
After entering the office building or at home, you should always wash your hands. Take the 20-30 seconds to thoroughly scrub your hands with soap and water, then rinse at the end and dry with a paper towel. If there is no sink to wash your hand, then place hand sanitizer in convenient locations so your employees have access to use them throughout the day. All hand sanitizer that's provided must have 60% alcohol in the mix. We are stating the obvious here but please don't forget make sure all your bathrooms are equipped with soap too as there will be more hand washing than usual.
3. TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE
As you have your employees walking into the facility, there should be someone appointed to check their temperature. If someone has a high temperature, they should be sent home out of precaution. They could be getting sick, and even if it's just a normal cold or flu, this can make other employees sick leading them to have a lowered immune system. With a lowered immune system, your employees have a higher chance of catching anything so for their safety this is great way to make sure everyone is feeling okay. It will also reassure your employees you are continuing to monitor, which will ultimately make them feel more comfortable going to work.
4. PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING
This one is pretty obvious but, remember to continue practicing social distancing in the work place. This doesn't mean you can take off your mask though! This means practice social distancing while wearing your mask. Never be within 6ft of someone when you are talking with them and give yourself enough space.
5. CLEAN FREQUENTLY TOUCHED SURFACES
If you haven't already done so already, you should have someone appointed for cleaning or a schedule planned out specifically just for cleaning. If someone is appointed to clean, make sure they are cleaning all frequently touched surfaces such as: door knobs, phones, computers, bathrooms, cafeterias, tables, etc. If you have a schedule planned out instead, you should at least try to have someone clean in the morning, mid-day and in the evening, with a special focus on those "frequently touched surfaces."
6. CLEAN WORK SPACES
If you cannot afford to or have not appointed someone to be on cleaning duty, you can always ask your employees to lend a hand and remind them to clean their work spaces. They can keep there area clean with disinfectant and should be reminded to specifically clean their computer keypads, mouses, phones, and table area too.
7. EAT IN SHIFTS
Set up different block schedules to make sure your employees' eating area, aka cafeteria, is properly spaced out for their safety. No one should be sitting directly next to one another. They should be spaced out 6ft apart and maintaining the social distancing rules. Remind them to keep their mask on as they enter and wash their hands before eating. Once they are done eating and before they get up from the table they should put their mask back on and then continue to wash their hands again before going back to work.
8. LIMIT GROUP MEETINGS
If you have a small team and a very large room you may be able to get away with this, but it's recommended to at least have 6 feet apart from any people around you. That means a 6 foot circumference around you, the center! Oh and if we haven't said it enough wear a mask while your attending the meeting too. If there are no large enough rooms for these kinds of meetings, then do a virtual meeting or set up a conference call meeting instead. These are the safest alternatives and measures you can take for proper social distancing.
9. USE YOUR PHONES
Before the Coronavirus, many people would get up, walk to wherever their coworkers are and start talking to them. But now we have to be more cautious. We recommend calling your coworkers instead. Use your phone to reach them instead of going to their office. Use the paging system on your office phones, to find where they are instead of walking around the office to find them yourselves. Although this means less interaction with people, it also means your being more secure which benefits both you and your coworker.
10. COVER YOUR COUGHS & SNEEZES
If you have to sneeze or cough protect those around you by sneezing/coughing into your elbow or a tissue. Make sure to throw away the tissue and clean your hands afterwards for the full 20-30 with water and soap.
11. STAY HOME
Most importantly, If you wake up one morning and do not feel well, STAY HOME! This doesn't necessarily mean your positive for COVID-19 but you may be sick and may pass it along to someone at work, therefore bringing down their immune system too. If you have tested positive for the virus then it's best to stay home and quarantine for 14 days. This is the same for someone who has also come into contact with someone who has tested positive. It's honestly just better to be safe here and not take any risks, so if you're feeling bad stay home.
TOGETHER WE'LL PREVAIL
Ultimately by following these steps you will see that you are doing everything possible to keep your employees safe during this Coronavirus Pandemic. We encourage, whoever is reading this, to remind your employees or coworkers to continue practicing these protocols after they leave the office as well, as this will in the long run enhance the safety measures for everyone else. We hope you can adapt these procedures to your business and make your employees feel secure and comfortable again while working through these very odd times.