Creating a COVID-19 Safe Workspace
The corona class virus spreads very quickly, and the average time that an employee is out with the COVID-19 virus is two to three weeks. That is two to three weeks of lost productivity. You may be wondering what you can do to keep your employees and clients safe from this or any virus. You can start by modifying your offices and practices according to the CDC guidelines, to prevent spreading illnesses throughout the office. That is why we’ve taken what was learned over the last year and applied it in order to help our customers get back to business.
We created a step-by-step assessment analyzing your current office space with the following in mind.
- Six-foot distance between employees (If less, there are solutions).
- Airflow/purification requirements
- Location of sanitation stations
- Guidance on breakrooms
- Guidance on cleaning requirements
Our assessment begins with a phone call to discuss your concerns. Then, we meet at your location to review the above. Finally, we will provide a strategy to move forward.
Sign up for your Complimentary Covid-Compliant Work Space Assessment
Inspect For Weaknesses
The very first thing you need to do is to inspect and assess your current office configuration. This will help you decide what you need to modify to keep your employees and customers safe, healthy, and comfortable.
You will want to pay close attention to:
- Employee workstations
- Breakrooms and lounges
- Common areas and waiting rooms
- Client accessible areas
- Entrances and exits
These are all areas that people encounter, and with multiple surfaces, a virus can contaminate. Doing this gives you an accurate picture of what you need to do to help prevent the infection spread.
You will need to create barriers between workers and clients. There are two ways of doing this.
The first is through plastic or plexiglass barriers that prevent contact and serve as a reminder to both employees and clients. These barriers are particularly effective for areas where you want to maintain the personal approach of face-to-face contact while keeping everyone safe.
The second is by using demountable walls. These are just like regular walls, except we can reconfigure them to suit just about any space. They reduce the risk of viral transmission, reduce sound and create a more private area. They come in a variety of finishes, styles, and materials, including glass wall systems so that you can match your existing office decor.
Create Room for Social Distancing
Consider using these same types of barriers for conference rooms and customer waiting areas. You can do this by separating seating by the required six feet or adding partitions between seats when separation isn’t possible. Our barriers are ideal if you have a smaller customer waiting area or a high customer volume.
Since COVID-19 and other viruses are droplet or airborne, it is important to make sure your office space has adequate airflow and proper ventilation. You should consider natural ventilation or increase outdoor air percentage in the ventilation system where ever possible.
When you can’t make changes to your airflow, consider filtering the air with an approved filtration system. In smaller offices, you need to inspect your filter points to ensure no points where the air is bypassing your filter.
If you can’t make changes to your filtration or HVAC system, consider using partitions to shunt fresh air to the desired area. These partitions are adjustable and customizable. They are also great for keeping the traffic flow in your office controlled.
Eliminating or reducing the need to use frequently touched surfaces is an excellent way to help keep everyone safe from COVID-19. You can do this by using automatic doors or push to open doors. Even something as simple as installing door handles that people can open with their elbow or forearm instead of their hands can help stop the spread.
Create COVID Prevention Stations
For those frequently touched surfaces and areas that you cannot eliminate, consider installing cleaning stations. Stock them with:
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper towels
- Disposal containers
You should also consider having these stations at the entrance and exit to your office. As a courtesy, you might want to have masks available in these areas for your employees or customers to use.
Adding reminders to both customer and employee areas will help everyone stay on track with things like wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing. These reminders can range from simple signs to marks on the floor every six feet.
Since it is very common for people to touch surfaces unconsciously, it is important to use signs or other visuals to keep safety at the forefront of their minds. After all, it is an easy thing to forget.
Communicate With Your Employees
It is not enough to implement changes. You need to make sure you inform your employees about the best ways to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. Offering supplies like disinfectants, masks, hand sanitizers, and wipes will go a long way to keeping your employees and clients healthy.
You can also consider having alternating work schedules to avoid overcrowding the office. Speak with your employees about flexible hours and nontraditional work times to help them comply with social distancing rules.
Creating a COVID-19 safe work environment does not have to be difficult. ROSI Office Systems Inc. can help. We’ve been designing and redesigning offices for over 30 years. Let us help you keep your customers and employees safe and healthy. Give us a call today or visit us on the web for your free consultation.
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