It’s fair to say that the year 2020 has proven to be challenging for every industry and person in the United States and around the world. COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. It is teaching us how to live healthier lives and forcing us to make changes to the workplace for a COVID safe environment.
Making changes to your workplace can improve your employees’ health and well-being. Ideas such as replacing frequently touched surfaces with touchless systems, a redesign of office spaces, and a stronger emphasis on clean air and sanitation are a few changes that can make a difference. It has become an employer’s responsibility to keep employees and customers safe. Here are our top 4 affordable ways to make your workplace COVID safe.
Reducing Frequently Touched Surfaces
Frequently touched surfaces are often the easiest ways to spread germs. These include door handles, light switches, phones, faucets, etc. Fortunately, there is touchless technology such as motion sensor lighting and automatic doors, faucets, soap and hand towel dispensers. Even elevator buttons can become no-touch by using “Toe-To-Go” elevator systems, where people can tap buttons with their feet to choose which floor they would like to go to.
Another way to reduce high touch areas is to remove them. These could include areas such as coffee stations, snack bins, and water stations. Although it is nice to have these areas included in a workspace, it is much safer for people to bring their own food, water, coffee, etc.
Increasing Space between Employees and Customers
COVID-19 has forced us to keep 6 feet apart from one another. As things currently stand this is not something that will be changing in the near future. Therefore, this may call for a redesign of an office to increase the space between desks for employees or to increase space for customers in waiting areas or meeting rooms. Adding protective shields to reception areas or other areas where maintaining distance is difficult can protect the safety and health of customers and employees.
Another way to protect employees is to add outdoor flex space. Outdoor terraces and spaces can provide fresh air to employees and reduce crowding in the office. One-way walking routes similar to what many of us have seen within grocery and convenience stores can ensure safe space between employees as they move around the office.
Routine cleaning of your workspace can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Offices, bathrooms, porta-johns, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected throughout the day. Set a cleaning schedule and have all employees participate. You can also create an end-of-the-shift list of all areas to sanitize. Add sanitation stations to construction sites or to your office to provide additional access to handwashing.
Other additional ideas include HEPA filters and the installation of UV light air purifiers. HEPA filters are High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters that can reduce the spread of COVID. HEPA filters can help reduce airborne pollutants, including viruses in your building.
While HEPA filters trap particles, UV Light in HVAC systems sanitizes the air as it passes through killing germs. UV lights are proven to be effective in controlling bacteria viruses, mold, and other airborne contaminants. Using these two technologies can lead to cleaner air and a healthier workplace.
Make Your Workplace COVID Safe
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we think. It is forcing us to be more conscious of the health and well-being of employees, customers, and everyone that we encounter. It is causing us to think of creative ways to provide a COVID safe workplace. These tips are just a few ways you can make changes to your business or home for a healthier environment.