Working from home is the second most important safety rule during the quarantine caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first most important rule is, of course, to wash your hands properly. Thus, workers need to keep social distance and stay home, fulfilling their responsibilities as an employee. This is pretty clear. But what about employees involved in strategically important processes who simply cannot work elsewhere outside the office? In this article, read about how to organize working processes within the office to keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Guidelines for working from the office in quarantine:
1. Decide whose presence in the office is necessary
To begin with, make a list of all employees. Those who can easily complete their tasks from home can safely start working remotely for now. It is essential to take care of the necessary communication channels to make sure the employee stays in touch with the team and is able to fulfill all the needed tasks in full.
Employees whose work is related to customer service/production/maintaining business operations should be divided into groups according to the area of work. For example, engineers and accountants. It is important to clearly determine the number of required workers in these groups and try to reduce this number to an acceptable minimum. Non-staff personnel (interns, auditors, outsourcers) are better off refraining from visiting the office because it would help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
2. Divide the teams and minimize their contacts
After you have decided which of your employees will work from the office, divide them into groups that are in no contact with each other, that is, groups that do not cross paths over business or work matters. And you need to divide them even during lunch by making a schedule for visiting the kitchen. This will help to limit the possible casual contacts.
For work-related issues and discussions, use Skype or Zoom, emails, or messengers. You can create separate groups for different teams.
3. Don’t let your employees use public transport
Urge your employees not to use public transport. You can arrange transportation of employees with your own special vehicles. Before transporting employees, temperature screening needs to be conducted. The vehicles should be well ventilated and at the entrance, each employee should disinfect their hands and wear a mask.
4. Ensure social distance within the office
At workplaces, the social distance between each employee should be at least 2 meters. All employees must work in masks and change them every 2-4 hours, depending on the intensity of breathing.
5. Keep the office clean
The office requires daily cleaning with specialized detergents. Door handles, handrails, and elevator buttons should be regularly wiped and cleaned with a disinfectant, and rooms should be aired on schedule.
6. Make sure your employees wash their hands regularly
All employees should wash their hands regularly. Hang cheerful reminder-posters around the office. Sanitizers should be at the entrance to the company’s office so that every employee could disinfect their hands or mobile phone.
7. Temperature screening is a must
Give the HR department a task to monitor the well-being of your employees. Only people without signs of illness are allowed to work in the office. In addition, before starting work in the office, each employee should undergo temperature screening. If their body temperature exceeds 36.9 °C, entering the office should be prohibited! To avoid the spread of the virus, each employee must independently check the temperature before leaving home for work. In case of a fever or any symptoms of a cold, the employee should stay home and inform the HR department.
8. Keep your employees informed
Perhaps you feel a little bewildered, since all the habitual processes get turned upside down because of the pandemic. But believe us, your employees are generally shocked by what is happening. Therefore, it is important to keep them informed. There are several options for how this can be done. For small companies, this can be a group call with management or a letter from the head of the company with explanations.
Each department can have an assigned responsible person who will explain the safety and COVID-19 prevention rules to all employees, as well as ways of how the infection spreads, and safety precautions. Post additional information in a public place: in a group chat or on the information board. Regularly update information on internal digital resources and information stands.
Your most important task now is the safety of your employees and a responsible attitude towards yourself and others.