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As COVID-19 lockdown limitations are lifted and society returns to a semblance of normality, workers worldwide are being forced to acclimate to an altogether new working style.
Our offices are reviving, newly constructed around a range of social distancing principles and heightened housekeeping requirements. Familiar halls have been reconfigured into convoluted one-way networks that wind around the building, hand-sanitizing machines have been added to every corner, and meeting spaces now seem much larger.
While some workers may continue working from home part-time, many are ready to return to the office. While remote working has many and diverse advantages, there are certain restrictions to what can be accomplished through video conferences. Collaboration, culture, creativity, and mentoring may thrive when teams share a physical office.
So how can employers guarantee they’re doing all possible to safeguard their employees’ health and safety when they’re ready to come back to work?
We have mentioned some measures that small businesses can implement social distancing in the workplace. So let’s get started!
Tips For Social Distancing At Work
1. Maintain a distance of six feet (two meters) between employees
This is the first and most important guideline of social separation. When at all possible, keep a space of six feet (two meters) between yourself and your employees. Other activities you may take to ensure that this rule is followed are as follows:
- Make it a point to avoid introducing oneself with a handshake or a hug whenever possible.
- Rearrange workstations to make personal space a priority; arrange seats so that no two persons face each other when working.
- Allow lots of space between you and others while going about the premises.
It is advised that members who work in private offices modify their work environments to comply with the criteria for social distance. You may do this by adding physical elements like transparent barriers and organizational adjustments such as rotating staffing patterns.
2. Avoid congested regions
Choose areas of the building where people like to gather, such as cafeterias, cooking areas (kitchens), lobbies, and coffee bars. Design your strategy around such areas or avoid them. Make use of the convenience of dining at your workstation rather than working in a shared dining room, and schedule your break times to avoid the evening elevator rush.
When at all feasible, keep the amenity spaces open. Cleaning game rooms, pool tables, and barista bars are done regularly to meet our new and improved standards. Signage indicates the specific distance restrictions and the maximum capacity of each space.
3. Meetings should be held outdoors
As far as you reasonably can, try to decrease the number of in-person meetings you have each week. If you cannot avoid bringing the team together in one location, try holding the meeting either outdoors or in a conference space specially designed to allow for social distance.
You may reorganize all of your meeting rooms by reducing their maximum capacity, eliminating chairs, and identifying which seats should be filled, among other measures. In addition to the new meeting room capacities being shown in the member app, signs on the meeting room’s doors and tables will remind guests to keep a safe distance while in the space.
4. Utilize video conferencing technologies to communicate with others
A dramatic increase in the usage of videoconferencing software has occurred during the previous several months. In the coming years, as more and more people return to work, collaboration tools such as Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, and Skype will remain an important role as far as how teams communicate and collaborate, not only internally but also with clients and customers whom they would have previously met in person.
As an alternative to face-to-face meetings with customers, utilize videoconferencing if possible to connect with colleagues who continue to work from home or even to communicate with colleagues who are located in the same building.
5. You should not share items such as pens and printed paper
It’s usually a good idea to avoid printing anything until necessary, but now is the time to avoid exchanging tangible goods around the crew, such as stationery and printed papers. It’s not only possible for COVID-19 to linger on hard floors for hours or days, but if you don’t fold your printouts into paper airplanes before handing them along, you’ll be breaching social distancing laws when you do.
As a result, your team’s normal process may need to be restructured to minimize the necessity for passing around printed materials. Share the new policy with your staff before they return to the office, and keep an eye out for anybody who could be unintentionally reverting to old behaviors.
6. Take the stairs if you are able to do so
Save the elevators for people who are in the direst need of them, and get acquainted with the most recent guidelines for using them in your building. Keeping a minimum of six feet between you and your fellow passengers while waiting in the lobby can help to preserve social separation. Elevator capacity will have been cut by at least 50% in most circumstances. Floor decals will be placed in the lobbies of elevators and within elevators, locations to serve as a nice reminder of safe distance rules for employees. Consider getting into the habit of using the stairwell instead of the elevator if you are able. Stairs will then be made one way when it has been practicable to do so, considerably lowering the likelihood of you passing another employee on your route to and from your desk.
7. Wear a mask to protect your face
The inevitable will be locations and circumstances when it will just not be feasible to remain more than six feet apart, such as in a small hallway or elevator, and it is important to remember this. During these times, you should keep your mask on and avoid direct eye contact with others as much as possible.
It would help if you always had a mask with you while outside. However, if you have misplaced or forgotten yours, you should contact a team member. They may be able to offer you a one-time-use face covering that you may keep.
In addition to the workplace, your social distancing technique goes outside of the office as well. Allow your employees the freedom to come and go sooner or later in the day in order to avoid traffic congestion during peak hours. Please pay close attention to any advice given by your city’s local transportation authority, and integrate their recommendations into your rules. We hope that these tips will have you keep your small businesses safe from the COVID-19. Stay Safe.