Is your office bringing their employees back to the office soon? Adapting to new safety protocols is so important before you begin any work. Make sure you’re setting your employees up for success by keeping them safe if you need them back in the work area. Here are some COVID workplace best practices.
1. Stay In Touch
First, a communication plan is imperative to managing a smooth return-to-work transition. Start with emails or texts to all workers with some basic expectations, especially with a timeline to return. If you manage a large operation, you may want to consider setting up a hotline for common covid questions. It’s also appropriate to provide plenty of opportunity for employee feedback – if something’s not working, you need to know about it. Posters or signs detailing safety precautions can help provide your staff with all of the information they need to know as well.
2. Maintaining Safety Standards
Establish protocols and standards for sanitizing and operating safely. Regularly used areas, especially communal spots, need to be regularly cleaned. Make sure plenty of cleaning resources are available to all workers if they need to quickly sanitize their spaces. It will also be helpful to limit team overlap – reduce staff capacity wherever possible to enable social distancing.
3. Prioritize Prevention
Instead of focusing on what to do when someone gets sick, emphasize prevention. Catching an issue before it can manifest is proactive and can keep your team healthy. All employees should be wearing face masks at all times, and you should consider screening for symptoms. Employees that experience symptoms should not return to work until they have passed a pre-designated quarantine period or have received a negative COVID test result.
4. Dealing with Disease
In the workplace, your job as a manager is to keep your team safe and productive. You can’t operate effectively if you have a hazard in the workplace, in the form of a sick employee. The message has to be: “If you feel sick, stay home.” Workers with the following symptoms should avoid leaving home per the CDC:
- Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing
- Muscle or Body Aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion, Runny Nose, Sore Throat
- Nausea or Diarrhea
If an employee receives a positive test result at work, they must leave immediately and work with the health department to slow the spread through contact tracing and case investigation.