Safe and Socially Distanced Workplace

If your business has been impacted by the effects of COVID-19, follow this guide to create a safe and distanced workplace.

Communication

First and foremost, your employees’, customers’, and your own health is reliant on consistent and clear communication. Literature that details precautions for social distancing will help to maintain a COVID-free environment. To achieve this, you can hang pre-made posters, use sign holders to protect custom-made directions, and send emails surrounding any updated policies. These messages should detail all mask regulations per your state, any updated practices or routines, and any other important changes that effect the organization. Resources from the CDC and OSHA can also help articulate the necessary steps that should be taken.

Crowd Control

An important step in workplace social distancing is to note any grouped desks and open-concept workspaces that need to be shifted to adhere to the 6-foot distanced guideline. If space is tight, then alternatives like hybrid-working could be an alternative solution; this is when employees rotate between office attendance and remote work. If remote work is not an option, consider creating barriers between cubicles using Plexiglas dividers, or get creative using the resources around you. If at least six feet of distance is not always possible then consider enforcing a mask-wearing policy. Although this may be uncomfortable during the workday, the number one priority is the safety of your staff and everyone present.

The next step is to indicate safe six-foot distances with floor marking tape, and add protective dividers. This should be implemented within cubicles, counters where social distancing is not possible, conference rooms, etc. Another safety measure is to create directional guides throughout your workspace; arrows along the ground or signs to indicate where to stand is a helpful way to maintain a safe distance. Areas like breakrooms, elevators, and conference rooms should all have limitations on how many people can be in the space at one time. This will help maintain social distancing and prevent accidental cross-contamination.

Cleaning Processes & Single-Use Supplies

A good way to prevent the spread of germs is to provide single-use products or antimicrobial supplies. Replacing shared pens with single-use in places like restaurants and banks will reduce the risk of germs spreading. Antimicrobial office supplies are products that have been manufactured with specific materials and treated to prevent the spread of microorganisms. These products range from desk pads, to keyboards, to staplers. You should review the items that are used frequently to determine what should be replaced with the antimicrobial option. Within breakrooms and cafés, be wary of community coffee machines and microwaves – use touch tools when operating and create a cleaning protocol for these shared devices. Be sure to keep proper disinfectant products within the space, as well as single-use cups, bowls, and silverware.

Prioritizing the cleanliness of your workspace is essential when deterring the spread of COVID-19. Hand sanitizers, hand soaps, and disinfectant wipes and sprays should be made readily available to all employees, whether in their immediate desk space or in common areas. The W.B. Delivery has another resource detailing the differences between Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting that can be helpful when choosing products for your workspace.

Our goal is to help your business reopen as safely as possible; if you are curious about any additional items that will ease this process, shop with us online at WBMason.com.

Sources

1. “How to Protect Yourself & Others.” Edited by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coronavirus Disease 2019, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Sept. 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html. Accessed 9 Oct 2020.

2. “Operate Your Business during the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Edited by SF.com, CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 INFORMATION, 2020, https://sf.gov/operate-your-business-during-coronavirus-pandemic. Accessed 9 Oct 2020.

3. “Social Distancing in Offices, Reception Areas, and Other Work Settings.” Edited by California State University, Social Distancing in Offices, Reception Areas, and Other Work Settings – Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information – CSU, Chico, 2020, https://www.csuchico.edu/coronavirus/_assets/documents/social-distancing.shtml. Accessed 9 Oct 2020.