With stay at home restrictions being lifted, many people are returning to work or daily activities that they used to once enjoy pre-COVID shutdown. However, with employees returning to work, it is important to remember that with the levying of restrictions, there is still a need to be cautious. The virus still exists and there is still no vaccine. Welcoming your employees back to your place of business, for many, will be a welcomed feeling after being in isolation for the last couple of months. Health and safety in the workplace remain paramount and having good protocols in place will help to assuage any tension or nervousness employees and employers alike may be experiencing as we enter the next stage of our new normal. Sharing and practicing the following tips and tricks to keep one another safe can help to ensure every member of the team is happy and healthy during return to work.
COVID has brought with it a lot of new verbiages we were not saying when 2020 started. It appears that social distancing is here to stay (for at least the foreseeable future). What that means in your workplace will look different depending on which industry you are in. In an office space, reconfiguring the furniture so employees can maintain distance is one option. If your space does not allow for that, hanging curtains between desks can help to enforce socially distancing. Despite working from the same office, face-to-face meetings as well as “catch up chats” at the employee desks should be minimized to reduce the vapor droplets that escape our mouths during conversations. Encourage employees to meet and chat over video messaging systems such as Zoom to help reduce intimate interactions. Maintaining social distancing will be more difficult in the service or retail industry. However, being conscientious of the space you are occupying with other people, and taking a step back to answer questions will help to maintain the distance between customers and staff and reduce the transfer of exhaled air and droplets.
Wearing a fabric mask has been recommended by the CDC and is part of being a good member in society—protecting and watching out for your neighbor. Different workplaces will have different protocols in place regarding additional PPE employees may need to wear (i.e. gloves, face shields) but a cloth mask will help to limit respiratory droplets when you speak, sneeze or cough. Remember, each time you wear your cloth face mask, you must wash it to ensure it is disinfected for the next time you need to use it. Additionally, maintaining rigorous hand-washing techniques and frequency is necessary; being especially mindful to wash your hands and/or sanitize after touching doorknobs or elevator buttons, after using the bathroom and before eating. As always, keep those fingers away from your face throughout the day—certainly COVID has highlighted just how much we touch our face each day without even realizing it!
This perhaps might be one of the most difficult practices to put into place. As humans, we desire to be social and connect with one another. Whether it is a big bear hug from your favorite coworker or a hearty handshake from a client, both things need to be avoided. Indeed, going forward, it has been suggested that the handshake is going to become a relic of the past. As much as we may be tempted to physically connect with one another when we get back in the workplace, handshakes and hugs are greatly discouraged. Instead, encourage employees to wave, give a peace sign or even a foot shake. This is an opportunity to be creative, and we are excited to see the engaging and unique ways people can greet each other without relying on shaking hands!
This is a new experience for us all! Are you looking for a way to breathe new life into your company or change the way you market yourself in the wake of COVID-19? We are here for you! Our team is passionate and excited about change and opportunity and we can help your business thrive during the new normal! Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Namamiinc or give us a call at 561.926.3969 to see what we can do for you (hint: We can do it all!).
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