Small Business Brief


Office Safety: This Is How to Handle the Coronavirus

COVID—it’s the devastating health crisis that has stopped life as we know it. But what does it mean for your business?

Work can’t stop, so business must go in, even in uncertain times. However, Coronavirus means that keeping your office clean should be a huge priority, as should procedures for keeping staff healthy.

It can be overwhelming to know how to handle office safety when it comes to COVID. You should always follow all federal and state health guidelines for your company, but we can help you out as well—keep reading to find out top Coronavirus safety tips for your office.

Encourage Remote Work

Whenever possible, companies should encourage remote work. Working from home keeps workers safe by avoiding contact with others and having to commute to work.

With the convenience of email and video conferencing, it’s easier than ever to stay connected, no matter where in the world your staff are.

Some companies may be nervous about managing remote employees, but it comes down to trust in your staff. Set clear expectations about what they should achieve each week and keep in regular contact—it’s not much different than being in the same office together, once you get used to it.

While working from home isn’t always possible, it’s something to consider when you can.

Adjust Desk Spacing

When it comes to office safety tips, think social distancing. One of the best ways to stop the spread of the Coronavirus is to avoid human contact—sneezing, loud talking, and coughing can easily spread droplets of saliva, which contain the virus, from one person to another.

To minimize this risk, you may need to adjust the spacing of your office desks. Desks should be at least six feet apart, and arranged in a way so employees can get to their desks without walking too close to other desks.

If you have a crowded office, you may need to mark some desks as out of use, if they can be physically moved.

Keeping staff apart from one another will keep them healthy, so take the time to reconfigure your office space in a COVID safe way.

Rotate Staff

If you work with a big team and have limited space, it’s not going to work fitting everyone in the office at the same time.

As an alternative, many offices have come up with a rotation system, limiting the number of people in the building at any given time. One group works from home while the other works in the office, then you switch every few days.

This way, all staff will be working at the same time, but some from home and some in the office.

When staff come into the office, the first thing you should do is make sure they use hand sanitizer. Then, check their temperature with SmartTemp, as a way to make sure they’re healthy.

Mandate Hand Sanitizing

Bacteria and germs can live on our hands, clothes, and briefcase for longer than you might think. When staff arrive in the office each morning, they’ve often come from crowded trains or buses, places where not everyone takes hygiene seriously.

To protect your business, mandate hand washing and sanitizing whenever possible. You may want to create an arrival station where staff arrive each morning, where they can sanitize their hands as soon as they walk in the door.

You may also want to add a sign-in sheet, so you know exactly who was in the building at any given time. This way, if there is a virus scare in the office, you know exactly who is at risk.

When staff are out and about for business purposes or commuting, they should always wear a face mask as well.

With frequent hand cleaning and attendance records, you can help keep a clean office.

Thoroughly Clean Office Space Daily

There are many shared spaces in offices—meeting rooms, kitchens, the office printer, and stationary closest. Staff need to access these spaces to perform their job, but high-traffic areas have the highest risk of disease transmission.

As a precaution, common areas should be cleaned throughout the day, along with a deep clean every so often. You may want to appoint a COVID health officer in the company to do this, or all staff take turns, but make sure daily cleaning is done.

Placing anti-bacterial cleaner and paper towels near each area can be a good reminder to staff to wipe down tables after each use.

Limit Shared Computers or Desks

If your staff hotdesk or tend to share computers and equipment, it’s best to limit this as much as possible. Each staff should have an assigned workspace in the office that they return to each day, for health reasons.

By limiting shared spaces as much as possible, you’re helping prevent disease transmission. When staff need to come together for meetings or to work on projects, they should do so from a safe distance or they should link up via video or phone.

Take COVID-19 Office Safety Seriously with These Top Tips

Office safety should always be a number one priority for your company, but it’s never been more important than it is now. With Coronavirus still prevalent across the world, companies need to take extra precautions to ensure their staff remain healthy.

Use the tips above to set up a COVID safety plan for your company, which will allow you to continue business as usual, without risk to your staff.

COVID won’t last forever, but while it’s here, companies have a moral and legal responsibility to look after their staff, so get started today.

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