Businesses nationwide have been struggling to find the best way to stay active amid the global pandemic. Remote work has proven to be an essential cog in the productivity wheel with many companies switching to full-time, off-site workforces. With states starting to lift quarantine restrictions, many of us are returning to our offices.
Below, we’re sharing a few tips we think will help all make the transition back to the office as safe as possible. By keeping these in mind, you should find yourself more mindful of your own health as well as the steps you can take to ensure your own safety and the safety of those around you.
Know your company’s guidelines
Your employer should have their own set of guidelines designed for your safety, in addition to the preventive action best practices released by the CDC. Prior to returning, ask your supervisor for a list of guidelines or additional information regarding workplace safety in case changes or updates have been made post-COVID.
The environment may look a little different once you return, as well. Again, depending on your company’s specific guidelines and circumstances, they could have work zones spread apart or place everyone in their own isolated cubicles or rooms.
The important thing to remember is to check in with your supervisor or human resources department to make sure you know and understand your company’s individual guidelines. Make a note of them or have an additional printout detailing the measures you need to take. Keeping this reference handy at your workstation will help you prioritize your well-being and the well-being of others.
Hayday, a plug-in software solution for easy wellness screening in the workplace, makes it easy to manage health checks for employees while limiting business disruptions, mitigating company liability, promoting workplace health, and ultimately, building trust across employees and consumers.
Take care of yourself
Your health is the most important factor in your life. If you don’t stay healthy you may struggle to keep working or at least working effectively.
With flu season fast approaching, COVID-19 still running amok, and allergies and colds popping up as the weather begins to change, your workplace immunity is vital. If you happen to feel the sniffles coming on during your workday, over the counter medications can be ordered quickly and brought to your location so you and your team can stay healthy. Add in some more hand sanitizer or disinfectant and your team will be more than prepared.
Speaking of flu season, it might be a good idea for you and your team to receive flu vaccinations, especially during this pandemic. A few other steps you can take to ensure you continue to monitor your immune health: take vitamins, try home remedies, order over the counter medications, monitor your temperature daily, and get enough rest. All you have is your health. Make sure you keep it.
Wear a mask and wash your hands
By now, the thought of “wearing a mask” is either tiresome or completely second nature. Regardless of how much we may dislike wearing them, they make a positive difference, with health experts encouraging their use. Limit the time you are without a mask to when you are eating, when you are sufficiently isolated, or any other time it is safe to do so.
Along the same token of advice heard ad nauseum, washing your hands regularly and efficiently is a necessary practice to maintain. Remember to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds before touching your face, eating a meal, and after using the restroom. You’ll also want to carry sanitizer for instances where you’re handling objects at work and leaving or entering a public place.
In addition to keeping your hands clean and your face covered, remember to maintain a clean work area. Keep disinfectant at your workstation, set a reminder in your phone for a scheduled cleaning, or whatever else you need to do to stay accountable. For more information on how to keep your work area clean in order to stop the spread of the virus, check out this article.
Limit social interactions
As we previously discussed, socially distant work events can help boost morale in the workplace. Despite the importance of connecting with your coworkers, it is every bit as important to be mindful of how you interact with one another. Monitor the proximity and duration of workplace interactions. In other words: the closer you are to your colleagues and the longer you are in close proximity, the higher the risk you take of spreading the virus.
These rules apply when you are outside of the workplace, too. Whether you are wanting to grab a bite at your favorite restaurant, need to pick up some groceries, or just want to get out of the house, as Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, stated in a study from May, “Just because we’re tired, doesn’t mean the virus cares.”
So, keep these things in mind the next time you start feeling a little too relaxed with your safety measures. As the old adage goes, “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
Utilize digital tools
If you are able to start, or will continue to work from home, this is probably a more than ideal situation in terms of your safety. However, for many, staying home for work is an impossible luxury. How can we be more efficient onsite while following the established health guidelines?
Try using some digital apps while you work. Communication apps, like these, can help eliminate the need for meeting with clients or coworkers face-to-face. There are also plenty of apps for managing teams and workflow. Doodle is a great tool to use for scheduling meetings and tasks across your collaborators. While many of these tools were designed with remote work in mind, you can apply them to your onsite work to maintain that social distance.
By thinking outside the box, and using available digital tools to your full advantage, you not only adhere to the social distance and safety guidelines, but you may just find that you are even more productive in the process.
Workplace safety has always been extremely important. Now, with the coronavirus, new challenges have arrived. By keeping these five tips in mind, following your company and national guidelines, and providing your teams with the solutions they need to stay efficient, safe, and healthy, you will be more than ready to return to work safely.