Lockdown regulations are getting relaxed gradually. However, in this new environment, there will be higher pressure on companies to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines regarding workplace safety and ensuring a hygienic and secure working environment for employees.
While many organizations will consider continuing with remote working environments for their employees, there would be many companies that would require a certain number of employees and teams to operate from the office due to the sensitive nature of their work or on-premise activities.
What should companies do to prepare themselves for this COVID 19 situation? Here are certain key guidelines in which office spaces can be made safer for your employees in COVID 19 scenario:
Companies need to ensure professional sanitization and fumigation of office premises are carried out at regular intervals. The usage of industry-grade disinfectants should be made to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness for employees. Employing the services of a professional agency for office sanitization and disinfection is recommended. At every desk, the sanitizer should be provided.
Offices have been closed for months therefore there is a high possibility of infestation of rodents and pests within the office premises. Employing the services of a professional agency for pest control is recommended.
Sanitization of the maintenance staff
The support staff involved in cleaning the office will be at the forefront in fighting the spread of infection within the premises. Proper sanitization and protocols need to be put into place for the cleaning staff.
Revamping office seat arrangement
Office spaces and furniture will have to be rearranged to meet the social/physical distancing guidelines. Desks, chairs, tables, and other office furniture should be such that it is easy to clean for the maintenance staff.
Reducing touchpoints using technology
The use of touch-free technologies such as retina scanners, sensors, automatic dispensers, etc. can significantly reduce frequent touchpoints and prevent the spread of infection.
Protective equipment and sanitizers for employees
Workplaces will also need to stock essential protective equipment such as face masks, gloves, as well as hand sanitizers for employees and guests. Masks and gloves can be distributed to everyone while sanitizers can be placed in areas where there could be a possibility of touching a surface or an object.
Regulating the usage of common areas
An office has many common areas – cafeteria, pantry, washrooms, recreation zones, etc., which increases the possibility and thus the risk for employees to infections. Common areas’ usage will have to be monitored strictly. It will be equally important to restrict the gathering of employees for events such as lunches, meetings, etc.
A virus or any other infection spreads fast in a closed environment with a central air-conditioning facility. Proper precautions to clean the air vents/ducts and regular servicing of the air conditioning system is required.
Communication and signage
Take all the safety measures for bringing your employees back to the office. Make employees aware of all the safety measures that have been put in place for a safe and hygienic work environment. Place signage boards in relevant areas inside the office.
Investing in office safety and hygiene will not only protect your employees in this pandemic situation to a greater extent but will also minimize the possibility of any unwarranted financial impact due to the sealing or closure of the office.