The coronavirus outbreak has become the driver for the most significant workspace transformations in decades. According to Gartner, we’re only a few months into the pandemic, and 88 percent of employees are already working from home. We’ve witnessed companies laying off flocks of employees, struggling with hiring freezes, and dealing with millions of applications for unemployment benefits. How we communicate, educate ourselves, do shopping, and work—the COVID-19 pandemic has altered everything!
Countless uncertainties are still hanging in the air, with no guarantee that things will resolve within any given timeline.
Perhaps, this is the new normal that businesses must adapt to—but how?
There is no question that health has become something that none of us can take for granted. Smart companies will implement protocols to lower their employees’ risk of infection.
Ahead, we’ve identified 5 tips on how you can adapt to thrive in the post-COVID-19 era and keep your workplace and workforce safe and healthy.
1. Educating Staff
To minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus, each employee must be aware of the symptoms of the infections. Dedicate a member from your HR department who should address any Covid related queries, and have clear, easily accessible instructions for employees that are experiencing symptoms, or who may have come in contact with an affected person
2. Monitoring Employees’ Health
Employees must be encouraged to stay at home in quarantine for at least two weeks if they have any symptoms, including fever, cough, body pain, and others. Conduct regular employee checkups and consider allotting additional paid sick leaves for workers who exhibit symptoms or are tested positive for COVID-19. Fear of lost earnings should not force someone to report to work when ill. Give some thought to the wisdom of offering paid sick leave with a verified note from a medical professional.
3. Adhering to the Guidelines of Social Distancing
Modify the layout of your workspace and rearrange the workstations to ensure every employee sits at a minimum distance of 6 feet. This should apply to every area in your workplace, including the dining area, breakroom, bathroom, gaming space, gym room, etc.
If your workspace has limited space and not all employees can be accommodated at one time while following safe distancing guidelines, then consider allotting days and timings for a certain number of employees to show up and make sure they don’t overlap.
Move all the meetings to Zoom or any other online platform that can accommodate several employees, whenever possible.
4. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work and Ensuring Good Hygiene
Require all employees to wear masks and gloves in the workplace and minimize physical contact with potentially infected surfaces.
Install hand sanitizer dispensers, tissue boxes, and disinfecting wipes across the workplace and encourage employees to use them frequently.
Furthermore, reiterate the importance of washing hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, even if they’re not touching any surfaces.
5. Assign Cleaning Tasks
The importance of physically cleaning both individual as well as shared work environments cannot be over-emphasized. Personal workspaces should be fully wiped down on a daily basis, and common areas should be wiped down a minimum of 3 times a day.
Let your team know that everyone is expected to clean their individual spaces and have clearly defined instructions on who is responsible to clean the common areas. Everyone’s job is no one’s job, and this is one task that you cannot afford to have slip through the cracks.
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