The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the working world. Companies have been making do with various work from home configurations in order to keep employees safe. But now that the country is working to return to the office, many people will be worrying about their health and the spread of this devastating illness. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to adjust to life in the office, and workplaces have the potential to be a safe environment.
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How to Protect Yourself from Germs
Going back to the office doesn’t have to mean putting yourself in harm’s way. There are many precautions that can be put in place to keep everyone healthy and put your fears at ease. We’ve compiled a list of some suggestions to make going back to the office safe, so employees can concentrate on work knowing you are taking every step to protect yourself and others against the spread.
Stay Away From Others if You’re Sick
No one wants to spread sickness to their coworkers. If you aren’t feeling well or suspect you may have an illness, the best thing to do is call out of work. You can get better at home, and won’t be putting others at risk of getting sick, too. In the office, social distancing and wearing face coverings can help protect against the spread of viruses. By staying at your own desk, you can prevent yourself from catching the virus or giving it to someone else.
Wash Your Hands Often
Other than social distancing, the spread of germs can be prevented by not sharing items with others. Germs can spread through the objects we touch. To get rid of them, you should wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. This will also help to prevent spreading your germs to the objects in the first place, but remember that illness can also be spread through the air. When you sneeze or cough, make sure to catch it in your elbow. Masks are worn to keep airborne pathogens, like those from a sneeze, from getting into your system.
Keep Surfaces Clean and Sanitary
Surfaces around the office that are touched often will carry the germs of those who have touched them. Objects that are touched frequently and by a variety of people, such as elevator buttons and the copy machine, are a mode of transmission for illnesses. Daily cleaning of the office and disinfecting these surfaces will aid in preventing the spread of bacteria. As a bonus, the office will be sparkling clean and a pleasant place for workers to spend their time.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Employees from Burnout
Remember to take things slowly when returning to the office. It’s already been a stressful year, and employees will be readjusting to a different work environment once again. It may feel overwhelming to be out of the comfort of your home and back at a busy workplace, but it could be the perfect opportunity to change things for the better. Try starting a new routine at work that will keep you productive without feeling overburdened.
In celebration of returning to the office, it’s a beneficial idea to decrease the clutter and increase the organization. Start by getting rid of the numerous boxes of old documents with secure mobile document shredding. Cleaning up your desk will get rid of germs and is also a good opportunity to organize and to put things where they belong. You’ll spend less time looking for what you need and more time being productive instead.
When going back to work after a year of having flexible hours and the comforts of home during
the workday, employees might feel rushed to catch up and do better with their bosses around. However, rushing will only cause stress and sloppiness. Slowly adjust back into the office by prioritizing your tasks. Decide what is highest priority and consider due dates to determine what should be done now and what can be done later. This strategy helps with time management and will keep you from having to finish work last minute. Reminders may also be beneficial in ensuring there’s enough time to finish work. Make sure that the pace you set for finishing work is an achievable one.
Split Up the Work
There are strategies that can be implemented to help pace the work, but sometimes the workload is just too big for one person. Now that you’re back in the workplace, it’s easy to split up the work with coworkers as fits best. Plan with coworkers about the best way to delegate tasks. If you’re not the best at a specific assignment, it’s ok to let someone else assist you.