After a long stretch of working remotely, offices are starting to consider the option of sending some (if not all) employees back into work. However, the office space as we know it will be reinvented as we all find a way to work in a post-pandemic world.
Offices themselves will be emptier than ever with protective plastic screens and 1.5m spacing between desks to maintain social distancing measures ( and to further prevent the spread of COVID-19).
The Australian Governments has now also agreed to a set of mandatory National COVID-19 Safe Work Principles to guide employers when returning to work and to ensure that our workplaces are healthy and safe.
So the real question is, are you and your team leaders ready to reopen? We've put together a comprehensive checklist of the top things to action around the office to get your workplace to reopen ready with safety solutions more a more hygienic, safer place to work.
MAKE A SET OF "NO CONTACT" RULES
When it comes to setting up your office for a post-pandemic world, implementing a no-contact rule is key. Once getting back into a usual routine it's easy to slip into familiar habits like shaking hands, utilising old meeting spaces without proper distancing etc.
Signpost and set out limitations on all physical interactions within your employee's daily working life including restrictions on all handshaking, any closed-door meeting spaces, hugging or any other form of physical contact between staff internally or clients externally. We would also recommend finding fun ways to replaced these once-social 'norms' within the workspace such as tapping elbows instead of shaking hands or walking outdoor meetings over traditional sitdown ones. If you look for it, there may be fun and unexpected benefits to implementing these changes at work!
ENCOURAGE "NO ITEM SHARING" WHERE POSSIBLE
We know that not sharing anything in a shared workspace is near impossible, however, there are thing you can do to help limit staff exposure to shared objects. Restricting the sharing of items like stationery, phones, hot-desk computers, laptops and desk spaces can help dramatically decrease the risk of cross-contamination within the office. Also removing sharable items within your staff breakroom or kitchen such as sandwich presses, coffee mugs, cutlery and cookie jars will need to be considered. We recommend supplying staff with their own Keep Cups or recyclable cutlery and crockery to help bridge the gap within your communal areas.
Click here to see our range of office single-use or reusable items:
REORGANISE YOUR FLOOR PLAN
One thing you will continue post returning to work will be the mandatory restrictions on reconfiguring the office workspace. All desks and shared seating areas will need the adhere to the distance of 1.5m between not only coworkers
but customers and office visitors too.
Take this as an opportunity to rework your businesses floorplan and think about the type of foot traffic an area would see day today to ensure that you aren't overlooking any high-risk areas. We recommend using
GET RID OF COMMON "GATHERING" AREAS
Another important part of reconfiguring the office is to consider how you will remove common gathering areas like the shared coffee maker or watercooler to help minimise socialising face to face at unsafe proximities and to maximise safe working stations across your company. This doesn't mean that office socialising is over, it just means that measures must be taken to prevent disease transmission. Social activities and gatherings within the workplace can still happen, they just need some careful consideration as to how they are conducted. For example, it might be a great excuse to take team meetings or drinks outside to a local park where gathering can still happen but with minimised risks to public health and safety.
CREATE PROMINENT HAND SANITIZING STATION
Did you know the average human touches their face up to 40 times an hour? This fact reinforces that now more than ever it is so important for staff to have easy access to safety and hygiene equipment. We suggest supplying not only communal hand sanitizers with stations being set up around the work place, but also supplying employees with personal pocket-friendly hand sanitizers to encourage them to cleanse hands as frequently as possible.
Looking for simple, cost effect sanitising solutions for your office? Click here to discover our range in collaboration with Back To Work Australia: https://backtoworkaustralia.com.au/
CREATE APPROPRIATE FACE MASK RULES
Across the world, face masks in public are become more common, with some countries mandating them for those stepping out in public. Whilst obeying regulations, implement face mask rules that are most appropriate for your business. Help support staff and customers by offering face mask for use as you would any other amenity in your office.
Need face masks for staff or visiting clients in bulk? Look no further than our range of Back To Work face masks, available in bulk here: https://backtoworkaustralia.com.au/
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