As Southern California slowly begins to reopen, the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 has made employee health and safety a top priority for businesses. CEOs are bringing their HR, facilities and finance leaders together to develop plans for the return to work.
What does going back to work look like? How will you change your virtual work policy? How are work stations and common areas being updated to promote social distancing?
Here are six ways to make your workplace safer on day one:
- Develop a Schedule for Remote Work and On-Site Days
Increasing work-from-home options while reducing the number of employees in your office supports social distancing and sustains productivity. Set a schedule for working on site and remotely. Alternate who works in the office and who works from home. Stay connected via virtual meetings and ensure your technology supports the new norm.
- Update Your Company Policy with Smart Protocols
Ensure every employee understands the revised health codes. Post instructions for effectively washing hands, best practices for proper hygiene, how to respect personal space when working together, and methods for cleaning surfaces and digital devices. Review your sick leave policies and ask employees to stay home when they’re not feeling well.
- Add Antibacterial Cleaning Stations
Set up cleaning stations around the office with antiseptic cleaning wipes and gel. Ensure you have enough stations to serve employees in their respective areas. Thoroughly disinfecting hands, phones, computers and surfaces can go a long way to stop the spread of unwanted contagions.
- Invest in Portable Free-Standing Desk Partitions
Arrange temporary walls for social distance. Free-standing desk partitions can give privacy while offering a security shield between employees. Add mobile workstations to provide more options for safe-distance work. Create makeshift meeting rooms or divide a large space into smaller areas to create more ways to meet safely.
- Create a Traffic Flow Plan
If possible, make hallways, stairways and other corridors one-way to allow for social distancing when moving from one part of the building to another. Add signage to direct traffic and create a plan for safe use of elevators and other small spaces.
- Define Proper Procedures for the Cleaning Crew
Set precise procedures for meticulously cleaning your office daily. Do not assume your janitorial crew will sanitize exactly as you expect; ensure they follow CDC recommended guidelines. Provide the crew with cleaning products and tools they need, create a list of jobs to be completed and use a sign-off list to ensure completion.
Introducing these important changes can make all the difference in the health and safety of your workspace and allow every employee to flourish.