Make Your Office a Safe Space During COVID-19

The global and national spread of the COVID-19 has created many changes in the work offices and work environments where people collaborate and spend their time together. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the gathering should be limited to 50 people, which significantly impacts the existing working praxis in many companies.

Most employees have to go with the new sanitary rules and practices that prevent and control the virus’s spread. Most of these practices are necessary for keeping the working space free of virus particles that can endanger human health.

This article shows you the primary measurements for disease prevention, sanitation, and cleaning of the working areas. You will find out the following:

  • Most common cleaning guidance from CDC
  • Social distancing measurements in the office
  • The quality of air and ventilation systems
  • Communication and signage recommendations

Most common cleaning guidance from CDC

While the spread of COVID-19 might seem unavoidable, there are many measurements from the officials that must be considered to stop the spreading of the virus. We want to make sure that each employee has the right protection while in the working area.

For all these reasons, the CDC recommends detailed instructions on how to clean offices and disinfect workspaces. Here are a few key points to keep in mind while cleaning surfaces and objects in the office:

  • Use a mask, disposable gloves, and gowns while cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces and objects. Throw them away immediately after the cleaning.
  • Clean before the disinfection, use a detergent or a soap and water solution to remove particles on surfaces and objects.
  • Use bleach and water in the recommended portions – 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water when there are larger surface areas, or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water when you clean with spray bottle applications.
  • Use disinfecting wipes (such as Clorox or Lysol wipes) for one item at a time, making the surface stays wet for 4 minutes.
  • Never mix cleaning products.
  • Always clean and disinfect tables, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, desks, handles, touchscreens, phone receivers, keypads, sinks, toilets, elevator buttons, shared electronics and equipment, touchscreen kiosks, digital signage items, etc.

Social distancing measurements in the office

In companies that require on-site work, social distancing measurements are necessary for keeping the place safe and away from virus spread. If you work in an office that requires on-site work, you may be exposed to the numerous factors that can put you in danger. To avoid these factors, there is a set of measurements to apply in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

These measurements include but are not limited to the following actions:

  • Limiting the number of employees and clients who come to the office
  • Using a socially distanced floor plan for all the workers at the place
  • Updating the office design to ensure that there are enough desks and social spaces
  • Maintaining virtual meetings whenever possible.
  • Using systems like OpenPath to enter the office by using the phone

The quality of air and ventilation systems

Good air quality is an essential contributor to better decision-making and a healthier environment in the office. The office can be a much more pleasant space for work and idea-making by going by the simple air quality maintenance rules.

These rules combine the following actions:

  • Conducting air quality assessments, testing, and design
  • Providing engineering guidance to improve ventilation and HVAC systems
  • Address indoor air quality issues
  • Monitoring the filtration and recirculated air systems
  • Develop the messaging strategies and educate the building occupants about the possible pathogen crisis

Most offices are homes to many contamination sources, and bacteria, mold, and viruses can present a huge problem when the air is polluted. When improving the office’s filtration system, you should focus on the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), a number from 1 to 16. It describes the air filter’s efficiency based on particle size.

Communication and signage recommendations

Communication in the workplace might be a crucial factor in facing all the issues that come with the virus. Employees will feel safer and more protected if you offer them some security during the COVID-19 crisis, which might be a crucial factor for facing the situation and overcoming it in the following period.

The communication efforts you may apply include the following:

  • Providing clear and concise updates based on the exact location, industry, and work culture.
  • Offering channels for support and communication that provides for their needs and concerns
  • Providing signage that speaks about the cleaning recommendations, respiratory hygiene, social distancing, and symptoms checks.
  • Ensure that all employees have access to technology that includes communication, video conferencing, collaboration tools, and project management.
  • Providing hand sanitizers and personal protective equipment for all employees
  • Cleaning all spaces in the office, especially those areas where employees continually use during the day
  • Creating internal updates via internal and external communication channels, emails, video calls, weekly posts, and social media updates.
  • Promote and maintain an excellent work-life balance for the employees to feel appreciated by being part of the team.

All the measurements and guidance presented in this article will keep your office more secure and reliable in the times of the COVID-19 global crisis.

If you are unaware of the virus’s consequences, you may put all the employees at constant risk. For this not to happen, it is better to go with the official guidance and apply all the safety and security recommendations presented above.

Most employees will have an opportunity to work from home, and this also requires specific steps that will ensure the lower presence of germs, bacteria, and viruses related to COVID-19.

Keep your desk clean, use sanitation wipes and products, and always clean and disinfect the areas you are using during the day. This way, you hugely contribute to the safety of your working space. In the era of COVID-19, we must be responsible and attentive to our basic needs, which is keeping the area we live and work safe and free of viruses and bacteria that can damage our health.

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