Countless salaried men and women are working diligently from the confines of their homes. As conditions improve, companies are looking to bring their workers back to the office. It is important that precautions be taken when workers return back to the office. These precautions are important to guarantee the safety of company workers. Namely, the workers must be protected from the spread of COVID-19 that may go around from sick employees. It is important that each employee is equipped with proper cleaning and hygiene materials to ensure that they can sanitize their work stations. It is also important that restrooms have contactless options for hand hygiene as well. These precautions can be categorized as minimal, moderate, and thorough precautions.
Minimal Precautions Scenario for Return
Minimal precautions for returning workers involves no testing for virus symptoms at all. This will allow for smoother entry and exit of workers through workplace offices and buildings. This will also result in more workers returning back to work much sooner as they do not have to test before returning back to work. However, one entrance and exit will be used for employees that are entering the building and exiting the building as well. This is done due to the need to screen employees that are coming into the workplace building. A singular point of entry and exit is critical to keeping a healthy work environment.
Coupled with the screening process will also include daily temperature checks on all floors and sections of the building and workplace. This process will be coupled with an employee questionnaire of workplace temperature and comfort in the workplace as well. Complimenting this process is a mandatory hourly hand wash. The hand wash process will drive down the spread of germs significantly. Antiviral soap, as well as anti-bacterial soap, can also be loaded into the soap pump of all of the bathrooms in the workplace facilities.
Coupled with frequent hand washing will also include wearing of face masks in the workplace by staff, employees, as well as visitors. Something that is being organized by numerous organizations is the application of a visitor policy. Visitor policies are important because a visitor adds an additional variable to possible infection rates in the workplace. Due to this, it is important that social distancing is maintained within organizations by visitors, workers, and others. All of these policies can be continued until significant progress brings organizations to the next step in workplace safety. Some organizations may return to work with a minimal precautionary work plan.
Moderate Precautions Scenario for Return
The moderate precautions will mandate that employees will require a one-time antigen test before returning to work. This testing will make sure that employees are not infected before returning to work. In this way, only employees that have been cleared by antigen testing will be allowed to return back to work. Similar to minimal precautions, there will only be one point of entry and exit for employees and visitors of workplace buildings. This will allow for proper screening of those that are going through the workplace building. At this point, masks and gloves can be provided to those going into the building.
In addition, there will also be daily temperature checks of the various rooms and floors that make up the workplace building. Rooms such as meeting rooms and restrooms will have temperature checks. In addition to this, the work floors where cubicles are will also be surveyed for temperature as well. Bathrooms will have options available for washing hands such as anti-bacterial and antiviral hand soaps to wash hands. Hand sanitizer will also be made available in cubicles and meeting rooms as well. These materials will ensure that everywhere is kept clean throughout the office.
Moreover, employees will also be wearing masks that will cover their noses and mouths. This will help with preventing the spread of germs from sneezing, coughing, and much more. Masks will also be worn by visitors that enter the building. This will help with reducing the infection rates in the office. Lastly, in the moderate precautions plan, social distancing will be continued as well as the limited movement through buildings is ensured. This way, external visitors can be limited from entry and exit of buildings and distancing can be properly maintained. The thorough precautions plan takes these guidelines a step further.
Thorough Precautions Scenario for Return
Thorough precautions include weekly testing of employees. One point of entry and exit will be used. This will allow for a centralized screening point for an organization to use within their facilities. A daily temperature check will be applied like minimal and moderate precautions, as well as an hourly hand wash. Employees will be wearing masks while they are within and on-premises of the workplace building. There will also be a continuing of social distancing between the workers and visitors to the office building. Complimenting this will be a limited movement imitation throughout the building. By limiting movement, the flow of germs can be limited throughout the office building. In this way, external visitors can be limited. The biggest outlier in the thorough precautions plan is the weekly testing that all employees will be relegated to. Thorough precautions seem to be among one of the safest options for workers returning back to the office. It is important that the safety of workers be put at the forefront.
There are numerous options and combinations of precautions companies will be implementing when their workers return. It is important to realize that many of the precautions are subject to change and updates. Not all of these changes will be final. It is also important to realize that cleaning workstations is important. That is why there will be disinfectant materials provided by some companies to their workers for keeping their workstations clean. It is important that we keep each other safe by following the mentioned workplace guidelines.