Is your office ready? In addition to existing workplace security guidelines, businesses can take additional safety measures to reduce coronavirus spread around the workplace. Recommendations from the CDC office safety guide help determine what essential changes in your building can be made to ensure the health of your staff.
With all of the noise and uncertainty, the main takeaway points are that people are worried about the health of themselves and their loved ones. We have an added layer of stress due to the potential health hazard of possible virus exposure that could transmit to their families at home. So moving forward will with that in mind, there are some steps you can take to elevate this.
Framework for decision making
The most essential part of establishing a plan moving forward is to be aware and flexible. We are likely to see spikes and swings between returning to work following different infection rates as traveling changes and variants pop up. The better your building is equipped to handle the back-and-forth, the better for your employees. It’s crucial to have a plan in place that prioritizes adaptability and safety.
Manging occupancy in the office
CDC and global health authorities recommend social distancing is a simple but effective way to limit the spreading, especially indoors. The more space between people, the better. A survey data shows that many people would feel more comfortable returning to work if their employers reduced occupancy or scheduled team exercises more efficiently.
When booking a shared space of gatherings such as boardrooms or conference areas, scheduling it ahead of time and informing team members is the best path. Using office booking software or hot desking software helps manage this process with ease. It will manage social distancing and help you with contact tracing. In addition, you can simplify conference room reservations with web-based software that can be accessed from anywhere.
Touchless technology for the built environment
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the new normal, it’s that touching things is a new source of anxiety for many. Think about all the things you feel at work: door handles, light switches, break room, and shared computers or desk supplies. So when it comes to returning to work after lockdowns, eliminating as many common touchpoints as possible helps employees, tenants, and visitors feel safer.
Touchless with your entry system and security controls. Keycards and fobs, touch readers, PIN pads, and turnstiles are one more thing to wipe down throughout the day, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up the necessary maintenance.
Building security management
Security remains a significant obstacle when shutting down their offices for necessary safety precautions. The cyclical reality of the pandemic causes intermittent office closures and is likely to continue. When nobody is present at the workplace, business owners ensure their buildings are still secure. Cloud-based security platforms such as Openpath allow businesses to take a proactive approach to manage their building security via remote access.
Considerations for Employers and Facility Operators
Below are recommendations from the CDC for employers who manage office spaces and facilities.
- Educate workers who clean, wash laundry, and pick up trash to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19.
- Develop policies to protect and train workers before assigning cleaning and disinfecting tasks.
- To protect workers from hazardous chemicals, training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary (refer to Safety Data Sheet for specific cleaning and disinfection products), how to correctly put on, use, and take off, and how to properly dispose of PPE.
- According to OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard, ensure workers are trained to read labels on the hazards of the cleaning and disinfecting chemicals used in the workplace, including proper disposal of regulated waste.
A top factor of your business is the health and safety of your workers. While it may seem challenging to modify your workplace procedures, it’s essential to return to the office with an abundance of caution. By ensuring both your facilities and employees are prepared, you should establish workplace safety guidelines to decrease the risk and transmission of all employees. Before reopening offices, make sure you follow appropriate sanitization and disinfection guidelines.