The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented change to the way we live, work, and play. As companies and businesses around the world struggle to cope with the devastating impacts of Covid-19, they have also had to adapt to changing guidelines, safety requirements, and health protocols in public places and workplaces.
While Covid-19 has resulted in a shift to working from home, there are still many jobs that cannot be done at home and require workers to be physically present. As we adapt and gradually live with Covid-19, we also have to find a way where workers can safely work and return to the office. Here are some suggestions on how to manage your workplace during Covid-19.
Regular Testing and Health Checks
If workers are gradually returning to the office, you should ensure that they are well and do not show any symptoms of Covid-19. Symptoms of Covid-19 include fever, runny nose, nausea, body aches, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, and headache. Workers who show any symptoms or are feeling unwell should not report to the workplace and should stay at home to monitor their health.
Workers should also conduct daily health checks when returning to the office to ensure they are healthy and well. This could involve regular testing through antigen rapid test kits for workers returning to the office once every week. Temperature screening and monitoring of blood oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter are some of the ways health checks can be done to ensure only healthy workers report to work.
Staggered Working Hours
It is also recommended to establish staggered working hours for workers who have to return to the workplace. For example, instead of having all workers report to the office by 8 am, you can divide the workers into different teams and groups. This could perhaps be based on the different roles, positions, or assignments the different workers have.
One group of workers report earlier for work and are allocated a specific time slot to finish their meetings, assignments, and work. After their allocated time slot is over, the next group comes for their time slot.
Having staggered working hours ensures that workers stay within their functional groups and reduces the risk of having too many people in the workplace. Having workers report to the workplaces in their functional groups also make it easy for contact tracing in the event of an outbreak in the workplace, and reduces the spread of Covid-19.
Social Distancing and Sanitation
Workers returning to the workplace should observe proper safety measures such as social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others. Tables, chairs, and other furniture in the workplace should be properly marked out for social distancing to avoid people sitting next to each other. Regular disinfection and cleaning of common areas and workspaces are important in preventing the spread of Covid-19.
High-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, handles, light switches, phones, toilets, sinks, and faucets should be cleaned regularly. Regardless of whether you are returning to the workplace or not, every individual should maintain good personal hygiene by washing their hands with soap frequently.