An outbreak in your office can impact the company’s bottom line. It will put the workers’ health at risk, and it will affect their productivity. Because of the existence of the coronavirus, you may even have to shut down your operations for a while until such time that the space is safe again. But now more than ever, it’s important to take concrete steps to redesign the layout of the office and make sure that your employees can practice physical distancing. You must also limit possible face-to-face interactions even if you have to work in the same office building.
Combined with other safety measures such as protective face masks for construction workers, a construction project, for example, can continue its operations. That’s the same way for offices and other workplaces. By following the safety measures set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you can ensure the protection of your workers and the safety of your workplace.
Set up Sanitation Areas and Provide Safety Equipment
As an employer, you should provide safety equipment and accessories to your workers. Invest in face masks, face shields, alcohol, and sanitizing agents. You should make it an office policy for your workers to wear face masks even in the office. You should also think about opening windows for better indoor air quality. A sanitation area must also be created at the entrance of the office. The area should have sanitizing mats, an alcohol dispenser, a thermometer, and a sink where the employees can wash their hands before they go into the office.
Eliminate Hand-to-face Transmission and Face-to-face Interaction
The most common way to spread the coronavirus is through hand-to-face transmission. You can prevent this by encouraging employees to sanitize and wash their hands regularly. You should eliminate any handshakes and face-to-face interactions as much as possible. If you all have to work in the same area, make sure that everyone wears a mask and a face shield. You may also prop open the windows to allow the better circulation of air. Staying indoors for prolonged periods will increase the likelihood of transmission.
If you can, encourage employees to work from homes except for those who need particular office tools and equipment. Those who can work virtually should do so to prevent the chances of spreading the virus. As long as there are hosts available, the virus will try to penetrate and create an outbreak.
Seclude Areas in the Office
This may well be the end of an open-plan layout. Many companies invested in an open-space floor plan for their offices, but it looks like the coronavirus pandemic is going to put that into a halt. If you can, put up cubicles and secluded areas for your employees to work in. The less interaction you have with each other, the fewer chances there is of spreading the virus.
According to a survey, more than 52% of Americans believe that the open-floor layouts of their offices will lead to an increase in infections. That’s why entrepreneurs should find a way to work in seclusion. This can help prevent the spread of illnesses among your employees.
Brief Your Employees in Your Office’s Safety Measures
Create a corporate video where a health expert will explain the measures that need to be taken inside the office. For the set up to work, your employees must follow the safety protocols there. Knowing that you have consulted with experts will make your employees more confident. They know that you have taken steps to ensure the safety of the workplace.
You should also provide regular updates about the state of the coronavirus infections in your city or state. Make sure to get your information only from trusted sources such as the CDC and legitimate news outfits. Providing this information will help everyone make the right decisions in terms of sanitizing, engaging, wearing masks, and many other activities.
Value Everyone’s Mental Health
This period is hard for everyone. Value everyone’s mental health. Make sure to offer appropriate mental health services as these are needed. Perhaps, you can even upgrade your employees’ medical insurance plans to include consultations with psychiatrists and psychologists. Everyone’s going through a rough time right now, so be careful with your words and actions. Don’t push anyone off the edge.
Prioritize your staff’s health over your own interests. When they feel that you value their well-being, they will respond by being productive and efficient. While the virus brought fear, it should also bring your ability to empathize with your workers. Show them that you are more than a boss. You’re someone who cares about their well-being and that of their families’, too.