As Governors are pushing for states to re-open, offices are getting ready to return to normal. However, it seems that there is going to be a new normal as the pandemic has changed our daily lives. Many changes will be implemented to promote social distancing and limit the spread of the virus. Here are the following recommendations to use when planning to reopen.
1) Wearing masks and gloves.
Although there is not enough evidence to support the notion that masks and gloves will limit the spread of COVID-19 in close quarters, it has been shown that wearing masks and standing 6-feet apart does limit transmission. Place hand sanitizers and PPE (personal protective equipment) around the office to promote healthy practices.
2) Limit In-Person Meeting Sizes.
It will be more advantageous to have Zoom meetings than have large meetings in conference rooms. This allows people to stay 6-feet apart and abide by the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) recommendation of limiting gatherings of more than 10 people.
3) Reduce Access To Common Areas.
It is common for employees to chat in break rooms or common areas, but in light of the pandemic, it would be more beneficial for the health of your employees to limit gathering. Encourage employees to stay within their offices and cubicles as it is easier to limit an office break out when employees have only interacted with one or two people.
4) Invest In Low Touch Tech.
The virus can stay on surfaces for several hours before it dies. Limit the number of surfaces your employees have to touch to keep everyone safe. Consider adding automatic doors, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, water faucets, etc.
5) Be Flexible With Working Locations.
Cater this to your business, but it is recommended to have your office at 50% capacity. Have half of your workers work from home and the other half in the office. Additionally, have your employees alternate when they work from home or the office to keep it fair.
6) Reorganize Your Floor Plan.
Is your floor plan able to accommodate being 6-feet apart? Staggering desks and having some employees work from home will help with this if you do not have the space to keep everyone a safe distance away from each other.
7) Encourage “No Item” Sharing.
Within reason, ensure that your employees are not sharing items like pens, scissors, staplers, etc. to limit the number of surfaces your employees are touching throughout the day. There are some work environments that this may not apply to, but it is good practice to encourage people to only use their office supplies.
We hope these recommendations will help you successfully reopen your office during the pandemic. Remember to always keep your employees health and best interest in mind when you are adjusting the office. If you are interested in more career advice and job postings please consider following Agency 8 on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.