The unforeseen effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on the economy and businesses of all sizes. But with restrictions easing and many companies adapting to the new normal, many offices are now reopening and welcoming employees that can and want to return to work.
However, the dangerous problem with COVID-19 is that an infected individual may not realize they have the virus and might have unknowingly spread the virus to others. This is one of the biggest fears business owners have as an uninfected employee, customer, client, or partner could end up infecting a significant portion of the workplace.
Here are some extra measures your office can take to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Get Your Employees Tested Before They Can Enter
While vaccines are still unavailable to the public and COVID- 9 drug testing services are ongoing, it’s important to know if your employees do not have the virus before going back into your office. Making sure none of your employees pose a threat to everyone else when they step inside your offices.
Ideally, testing should be done more than once because you’ll never know if your employees contracted the virus after they test positive. As much as possible, shoulder or provide a subsidy for the cost of getting tested in your area.
Ensure Proper Ventilation
The COVID-19 virus is more likely to spread indoors as air circulated from equipment like air conditioners can spread the virus to other people. So, in an indoor setting like your office, it is easy for one person to infect several others even if social distancing measures are practiced. As much as possible, please do not rely on HVAC systems unless they are equipped with purifying or cleansing tools.
Keep your doors and windows open to improve air circulation in the office. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend this guideline if opening the doors and windows poses a safety risk, such as working with children.
Continue Work From Home Operations
Do not force all your employees to return to the office. As much as possible, limit it to those that can go to work without taking public transportation (thus minimizing the risk of viral transmission) and those that genuinely want to return to the office.
Those that do not want to return or cannot return to work without commuting can continue working remotely. This is because it’s not recommended that offices reopen and operate in full capacity to practice social distancing. Ensure that employees that do return to the office can distance themselves at least six feet apart from other returning employees.
Install Physical Barriers
Invest in transparent shields or other physical barriers to separate employees from one another or separate employees from the customers. This ensures that the risk of passing the virus is maintained in cases where social distancing may not be possible.
Limit Employee Access If They Show Symptoms
If an employee shows up to the office with a cough and claims that it isn’t COVID-19, it’s much better to be safe than sorry and advise them to go home and get tested. Because of the varying symptoms of COVID-19, it is difficult to diagnose the virus for mild cases immediately. Transmission, however, can result in other infected individuals developing worse respiratory symptoms.
It may be necessary for some businesses to reopen their offices, so it is important to take precautions for your employees and customers’ safety. Stay updated with your local government’s news on the different ways to adapt to the new normal while the vaccine and other cures are still just at the horizon.