Even though the number of people affected from the coronavirus in our country is going down, it doesn't mean that everything will go back to normal; workplace safety will have added measures, and as you all may know already, new prevention methods have been enforced in the workplace to mitigate most instances of transmission. In this short blog, we will discuss the effects of coronavirus on the workplace.
1. Avoid Mass Gatherings
Mass gatherings are not only applicable to weddings, parties, parks and the like, but it also applies to your workplace- conferences and cafeterias. While most of our offices have given us protocols on how to go about your business within the workplace (and how many people are allowed to be within a specific area), you should generally avoid being in groups of more than 4. Even though the number of new cases have decreased, we should still be on the top of our game.
If you absolutely must have meetings, both internal and client meetings should take place via conference calls for safety.
2. Distance Yourself At Work
Always ensure that there is a space of at least 1 metre between all seating arrangements. Although the lockdown is over and we're back outside, that does not mean that there is no need for social distancing, in fact, we should practise it even more to prevent a second resurgence of the virus. We spend at least 8 hours a day at work, so maintaining proper distance from everyone during that time is of paramount importance- regardless of whether they're exhibiting symptoms or not. Avoid crowded lifts, take the stairs. If there is a need to touch the railing for support, ensure that you wash your hands with soap and water once you reach your office, or even use hand sanitiser to sanitise your hands.
Hopefully, your workplace has enforced mandatory temperature readings to ensure the safety of yourself, and your colleagues. If your workplace does not, and you're interested in purchasing a non-invasive thermometer, have a look at Andatech's MedSense Infrared thermometer.
3. Enhance Hygiene Practices
Since we've all been working from home for the longest time, it's understandable that you may have relaxed your hygiene level. Ensure that once you are back at your workplace, you enhance your hygiene practises. Be mindful of what you touch and handle, and ensure that you wash or sanitise your hands if you touch a doorknob, lift button, etc. with your bare hands. Even when greeting people, do not shake their hands or hug them- people will more than likely know that you're not being rude, but are in fact practising social distancing. Maybe your could even do a little fist bump or elbow tap- just remember that there still is a chance to transmit it via those ways.
If you're working in an enclosed office space, take a break from your computer every so often so that you are not tempted to rub your eyes. Also, avoid using shared cutlery and cups- if there is no other option, ensure that you wash the utensils thoroughly.
4. Prepare a Safety Kit
Before your leave your house every day, ensure that you have prepared a safety kit which includes a face mask, hand sanitiser, soap, gloves, toilet sanitiser, and tissue paper. Wear your face mask as much as possible- not just to filter particulates from the air, but also to prevent you from touch your face every so often. Use hand sanitiser when you are unable to wash your hands, and make use of the soap if your workplace has run out of soap. Use gloves whenever you are touching shared items, such as the water cooler, office telephones, and even the coffee machine. Use toilet seat sanitisers before and after using the shared toilet, and make use of tissue paper- use them to press the flusher, and to manipulate skink taps. Also, don't forget to use tissues to cough and sneeze into.
This may seem like a lot of steps, and it may even seem paranoid, but in the name of preventionm it is very much worth your while.
5. Working Remotely
If your company isn't currently enforcing working from home, propose going digital (if your job permits). It saves on overhead cost, and mitigates the risk of infection from coming into contact with other people, and items that they may have handled. Scan and send important documents digitally, keep a digital signature at hand, in case you run into a situation which may require it.
6. Transportation to Work
It's a little hard to socially distance when taking public transport, and depending on your state, there may be different rules when going to and fro. Remember to wear a face mask and gloves at all times when using public transport. If possible, use a digital wallet to make payments in lieu of exchanging physical bills. Wash your hands as soon as you reach your destination, and if possible, request for you could request for your manager to move your shifts along so that you won't have to travel during peak hours.