There are plenty of ways by which COVID-19 has affected our daily lives and one of the profound ways is our work. During the pandemic, the manner of working has completely changed and we bet nobody is liking it anymore. The fortunate ones have their job and some of us are struggling to get a new one.
The term “new normal” has come into the limelight and for us, it is work from home. But what about the profession where work from home doesn’t work? Well, they have to go to work daily but is it safe?
As per the recent outbreak, it shows that assuming and pondering that we are safe now is not at all safe. But we need to work, we need to earn our livelihood and for that, we need to step back into the office. Thus, what should we do to protect ourselves and our colleagues from Coronavirus? Let’s scroll down to know what we can do.
First and foremost is to know how it spreads
Still, there are many people around us who know the name of the coronavirus but have no idea how it spreads. Even we are only aware of the fact that it spreads from person to person from droplets. The person who is infected emits droplets when they speak, sneeze or cough.
These droplets spread in the air and can be transmitted directly. The worst part of the virus is that it stays viable for hours. Suppose an infected person sneezes then the droplet remains on the surface for a longer period of time and can infect any other person easily.
Through contact with mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth, and nose the virus tends to enter the body of a non-infected person. And gets attached to the cells in the upper respiratory tract to develop the infection.
What does this mean for office workers?
In recent times we all have noticed that office spaces are shared between employees or work in an open plan office and even hot desks are there where various employees share desks on different shifts. In this employees work for a very long period of time and it becomes hard to maintain the distance. Hence, this combination increases the risk of COVID-19 as the employees spend more time in close contact. Hence there are things that an employer and employees both need to consider.
Considerations for employers
- All the employees in a shared office must have at least a 4m² distance between them. If this is not possible then make sure that every member has a sanitizer on their desk and a reusable clear face mask that will protect them from spreading the virus while coughing or sneezing.
- Just think regarding airflow. These days offices are all covered with glass and there is poor ventilation, hence the chances of spreading the virus increases. Due to insufficient airflow, the virus doesn’t get diluted. Thus, it allows the droplet to be carried further and within an hour or so the non-infected people will receive the infection. Thus, recommended increasing the airflow and ventilation where possible. The reduction of virus particles is possible if there is an increase in the fresh air. Not only this but if you simply open the window then also the viral spread can reduce.
- The cleaning custom must be increased. Where in offices the vacuum and wiping were done twice a week, now it should be done on a daily basis. And the usually touched surfaces like phones, door handles, touch screens, computers, keyboards, mouse, light switches, and many other related surfaces must be cleaned with the help of sanitizers frequently. This will help in the spread of the virus.
- If you notice any employee or worker has a respiratory problem then it’s better to isolate him/her immediately and arrange a car for them that will take them home. Make sure you clean the car after the drop. Recommend them to take the test of COVID-19 and do not return to the office without a negative report. Similarly, if you feel sick then make sure you also don’t come to work and get tested. This way you can protect your employees.
Considerations for employees
- Employees should simply take some disinfectant wipes with them and clean the surfaces like the keyboard and mouse that you use.
- One of the best protection is personal hygiene, make sure you carry a pee spray or a surface disinfectant and use them while using the washroom. Use it before as well as after the use of the washroom, so that it can even protect your fellow colleagues.
- Keep washing your hands frequently and sanitize them when you shake hands with your colleagues. It would be good for you if you even ask them to do the same things.
- As it is an airborne disease, make sure you personally take a step ahead and maintain a 1.5m distance while talking or in a meeting room as well.
- Not only p[ersonal hygiene needs to be maintained but respiratory hygiene also needs to be taken care of. If you are sneezing or coughing, make sure that you are wearing a mask. And if not then use a tissue or the crook of your elbow while sneezing or coughing. This will protect the employees sitting next to you or sharing the same workspace.
- In case you feel sick and uncomfortable, make sure you voluntarily ask your superior for leave and go home. It’s better to get tested and take a rest than to spread the virus to other people as well.
It is the duty of both employers and employees to take precautionary measures to safeguard themselves as well as the people around them. Make sure you follow and read thoroughly the above-mentioned points as it will help a lot in saving you and others from the spread of Coronavirus. It’s better to take precautions than to bear the pain that you will get from this infectious disease.
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