As the UK lockdown is gradually eased, lots of us are returning to workplaces redefined by a need for social distancing and enhanced hygiene precautions. The government’s official Covid-19 guidance documents set out how businesses can create safe working environments, and with such measures likely to be necessary for the foreseeable future, it’s important to make sure your office is compliant.
Any failures to adapt could have serious repercussions, be it through employee or customer illness or even legal action. Read practical tips on how to get back to the office safely below.
Your office may need to be reconfigured to give extra consideration to your staff’s personal working space. This could require splitting up banks of desks or at the very least creating a staggered seating plan to put more space in between on-shift workers. Indoor meetings remain ill-advised – so you could commandeer meeting rooms to help your team spread out.
The government advised against hot desking early in the spread of the pandemic. But the most effective way to reduce contact of all remains to permit remote working where possible.
Most office buildings will already use cleaning teams on a relatively regular basis. However, deep cleans should now take place on a more frequently, with particular focus on disinfecting shared areas and high contact zones such as bathrooms, door handles and desks.
Making hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes readily available is an inexpensive solution and should help keep the need for extra care at the forefront of employee’s minds.
Another hygienic option would be to use UVC lights to kill germs on your hard to reach surfaces.
Installing coronavirus-related signage is another important method of both reminding your team of the ongoing risks of coronavirus and reassuring them that necessary precautions are being taken.
This could include posters strategically placed in communal areas promoting regular hand washing, floor stickers guiding workers through one-way systems in high traffic areas, and banners providing notices of any changes to your regular business operation.
Maintaining general safety standards
With all these extra steps in place, it’s vital that you don’t let other core safety standards slip. That list includes ensuring smoke detectors and fire alarms are in place and functioning correctly, keeping wires tidy to minimise trip hazards, and making sure any accidents are reported and dealt with appropriately by nominated first aid champions.
Are you confident that your office environment is ready for workers to return to? Follow the steps above to keep your business operating safely.