With over 47 percent of the total population vaccinated, companies are asking their employees to start working at the office. And the office will be different from the time before the pandemic started. They will note that it will be cleaner and safer for them.
If you are planning to ask your employees to start working on-site, you should ease any concerns about the safety of working in the office. Due to this, you should implement measures to ensure your employees are comfortable working on site. Here are the measures you can implement.
Disinfect and Clean the Office
When your employees were working from home, they likely made sure their workspace and home, in general, were clean and disinfected to protect the family. And having a clean and disinfected office will alleviate their fears of catching the virus. While they may be vaccinated, they can bring the virus home and infect the young ones. So, you should do your part to make sure this does not happen.
You should make sure to clean and disinfection high-touch areas, including door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, keyboards, and counters, among others. You should also prepare hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes in the office to allow the employees to wipe down surfaces whenever necessary.
Use Health Screening Tools
One way to reduce the transmission of the virus is through health screenings. Monitoring the health of your employees is essential to protect not only the other employees but their families as well. You can also send a short survey to the employees asking about their current health status, including any symptoms that they may have. To facilitate this, you can use an app so the employees can fill out the survey on their way to the office.
Checking their temperature is also a good way to see if the employees are experiencing one of the symptoms of the disease. You should encourage sick employees to stay home and rest. If possible, you can also ask them to be tested along with their close contacts to be sure. You can keep your office safe for everyone by being vigilant, especially with the emergence of new variants of the virus.
Work on the Ventilation
Improving the ventilation of the office can contribute to the reduction of the risk of spreading the virus. It should be a part of your overall plan in opening the office to your employees. You can improve the filtering capability of the HVAC equipment to ensure it removes contaminants in the air. It should also be compliant with the safety codes set by local and federal authorities when it comes to the quality of indoor air.
You may also have to let an AC repair professional check and work on the HVAC equipment to ensure it runs properly. This is necessary if the equipment was not used since the pandemic started more than a year ago. Cleaning the air ducts is also important to remove contaminants that may have accumulated over the past year.
Modify the Office Layout
Even though the number of cases has gone down, you may still have to observe physical distancing in the office. This will assure your employees that you are looking after their welfare. Even if the office is small, you can modify the layout to create the distance you need between each desk.
If you cannot put enough space between the desks, you can set up partitions between the desks. You may even have to limit the people who join staff meetings in your conference room to ensure everyone observes proper distancing. Instead of one meeting, you can divide the staff and hold two meetings instead of one.
Be Open to Hybrid Work Arrangements
If your office has limited space, you may want to adopt a hybrid work arrangement with your employees. This ensures the observance of physical distancing in the workplace. You create a schedule where some employees work from home while others work onsite.
Another option is letting the employees choose whether they can continue working at home or in the office. The productivity of some employees may have increased with the implementation of work-from-home arrangements. On the other hand, other employees may have struggled with productivity when they worked at home. These employees will likely want to work onsite.
With this in mind, providing the employees an option on their work arrangements can be beneficial for both the employees and the business. So, you may want to be flexible with the work arrangement of your employees.
Keeping the employees healthy ensures that the business continues to operate. In this situation, you should make sure to alleviate their concerns when you ask them to start working in the office again.