How to Keep Your Office Safe

Whether we like it or not, life may never be the same after the pandemic. As employees return to the office, managers and office administrators may wonder how to keep their team safe from illness.

As the leader of your office, you’re responsible for employee welfare—so, what policies should you enact to “stop the spread” (without going overboard)? Well, it’s not as complicated as you think.

Common-Sense Hygiene Training

As much as we’d love to trust in an adult’s ability to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, we suggest covering it in a quick email. Go over the basic tenets of hygiene, and remind people to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer:

  • After leaving a public place
  • After coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After touching things other people have touched
  • Before eating or handling food
  • Before touching their face
  • After snacking, drinking, or eating anything
  • As soon as they come into the office

You can also direct them to the highly researched CDC guidelines found here.

man-using-sanitizer-at-office

Keeping Safe at the Office

Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize

Come into the office? Boom—sanitizer. Touched the same door handle as a dozen other coworkers? Boom—sanitizer. Running late to a morning meeting and didn’t have time to wash your hands? Boom—sanitizer.

Make your office sanitizer central. Hang posters reminding people to use sanitizer as often as possible, and make it free and available to all. No one should be fighting for germ protection.

A great way to make sure everyone stays sanitized, keep some single-use sanitizer gel packs on hand for all employees.

Assemble and Disperse “Welcome Back” Packages

Hand out sanitizing wipes, single-use sanitizer packs, face masks, and a packet of tissues to every returning team member as a “Welcome Back” package. Get creative with it. If you have the budget, invest in face masks personalized with your company logo.

Make Your Office a “No-Shame Zone”

This pandemic has brought back the concept of a work-life balance. Don’t foster a culture of unhealthy work habits, and avoid shaming employees for taking extra precautions. That means:

  • Require sick employees to stay home.
  • Send home team members that seem ill or have a fever.
  • Don’t punish employees for taking sick days.
  • Allow employees to work from home if it's at all possible if they feel unsafe or have people at home who need them
  • Be flexible if a high-risk employee (or an employee with a high-risk household) wants to continue working from home [if their type of job allows it].
girl-and-guy-at-office-with-masks

Safely Discussing Business


Follow Social Distancing and Face Mask Guidelines

Guidelines will vary from state to state, and remember that big offices will likely need to take more precautions than smaller ones. If you have an open office space, consider investing in partial or complete barriers between desks. If that’s not possible, stagger employees’ “in-office” days (i.e. only allow half your team in the office at one time).

Wear face masks during meetings or use a video conferencing platform to collaborate safely. Best to have all employees use masks while inside the office.

SANITIZATION OF OFFICE


Use Proper PPE

Before cleaning and sanitizing your business, you want to make sure you are wearing PPE to protect yourself from hazardous chemicals. Be sure to use skin protectants such as gloves as well as a mask. Proper ventilation is also helpful when dealing with the fumes in the air from your cleaning and disinfectant products.

Clean with soap and water

Before disinfecting, you want to clean all areas beforehand. This will help get rid of some of the germs before disinfecting. You can use warm water and soap to clean most surfaces. 

Disinfect

Most household disinfecting supplies will work fine. The most common use is bleach diluted with water. There are multiple brands out there that carry disinfectant products. The products vary from disinfecting sprays to disinfecting wipes. 

Create a Routine

Be sure to create a cleaning and disinfecting schedule. Getting in the habit of doing it often can help reduce health risks. Some businesses hire third-party services to clean and disinfect their facility professionally. If that option is not available to you, then your employees' help will work as well. If you choose to take this route, be sure to educate your employees on the best cleaning and disinfecting practices. It is also a good idea to have training in place to help your employees perform the task correctly. 

Get Back to “Normal”

It’s not difficult to keep an office safe from germs. By following these above tips—and maybe investing in a contactless thermometer—your team will be back to kicking butt (six feet away) in no time.