Employees Returning to Work After COVID-19
As more and more COVID-19 vaccinations are being administered across the U.S., workers and employers are beginning to discuss what the return to their physical workplace might look like for their companies.
For employees, this could mean trading their work from home lifestyle that they’ve become accustomed to for more than a year for desks, conference rooms and the company of colleagues. Many of these individuals are hesitant about returning to the office, citing concerns about using public transportation to commute, and the general risks that come with working in office.
So what can employers do to make this transition an easier one for their employees? Whether you are considering a blended approach or looking to resume full operations in office there are some items each employer should consider when making this transition.
General Employee Safety Guidelines from the CDC
Wear a mask
Recommend that your employees wear a mask in your office, especially where staying 6 feet apart (about two arm lengths) is not possible. Please note that wearing a mask does not replace the need to practice social distancing.
Employees may come to their management with personal concerns for wearing a mask regularly, so developing a consistent method for accommodating these requests is recommended.
Social distance in shared spaces
Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and others. COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other. Indoor spaces, like conference rooms, are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation.
Try to make your staff more comfortable by taking steps such as marking out and spacing out your conference room meeting, and finding dedicated work spaces for as many employees as possible.
Avoid sharing objects and equipment
Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If you cannot avoid using someone else’s workstation, clean and disinfect before and after use.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water before disinfection.
Choose the right disinfectant for your surface from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19).