While some politicians may have expressed hope that the virus would disappear by summer, COVID-19 had a different plan. It’s cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, and nearly two million people across the world.
The economic costs have also been dire, which is my many states are allowing businesses to reopen. While this makes sense from an economic standpoint, some workers may be hesitant to go back to the office.
So how can you help promote office safety once you’re back at work?
Keep reading for a list of seven office safety tips that will help you and those around you keep COVID-19 far away.
1Know Your Region’s Rate of Transmission
Before you head back to the office, it’s important to understand the current state of the virus in your state or region. Different states have different guidelines, so make sure that you’re familiar with them to know whether or not your business should reopen.
Websites like worldometers.info can give you detailed information about the current severity of the virus. You can arrange countries, states, and counties by the infection rate, the number of total cases, and many other filters.
2Wear a Mask
Wearing a mask should be second nature by now, and if it’s not, it’s time to start wearing one. Despite what fringe politicians and conspiracy theorists may propagate, the science is clear: masks work.
In one well-recorded example from Missouri, two hairstylists didn’t realize that they had COVID-19 and therefore continued to work. Despite being sick and giving more than 130 people haircuts, all of the customers later tested negative. Why?
Because both parties wore masks.
Whenever you’re around other people at your office, make a point to wear a mask to protect everyone. And remember, it goes over your nose!
Aside from wearing a mask, you should also make a point to keep your distance from your coworkers. While water-cooler chats and break room shenanigans are fun, there will be time for that in the future.
Your employer should take the required steps to ensure that you and your coworkers are at least six feet apart from one another. If they don’t, feel free to talk to them about some of the concerns or suggestions that you have.
4Practice Proper Hand Hygiene
Aside from wearing a mask and social distancing, you should also always remember to keep your hands clean. Keep some lotion by your desk, because they’re going to get dry.
If you have the option to wash them, make sure you do that, using plenty of soap and water in the process. The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, and longer if you experience any COVID-like symptoms.
If you don’t have access to soap and a sink, taking a few pumps of hand sanitizer can also be a good idea. Remember that hand sanitizer won’t help with dirt, so try to find a place to wash your hands when you get a chance.
5Avoid High-Touch Surfaces
Although some studies have shown that the virus doesn’t last as long on objects as experts originally believed, you should still pay attention to the things that you touch throughout the day.
Doorknobs, elevator buttons, and computer keyboards and mice are some of the many objects that get touched often over the course of a workday. Make a point to sanitize these areas down with a wipe from time to time.
Although wearing gloves may seem like a logical way to prevent contact with the virus, most experts recommend against it. Touching an object that has the virus then spreads it to all of the subsequent things that you touch.
6Wash Your Clothes and Reusable Masks
Speaking of the virus residing on different objects, remember to wash any clothes you wear to the office once you get home. Experts estimate that it can survive for up to two days on different types of fabric.
The same goes for reusable masks. If you use disposable medical masks, remember to throw them out after wearing them for a while. If you prefer reusable or homemade masks, wash them each time you get home from the office.
If this all sounds like too much work and you want to continue working from home, know that you’re not alone. Check out this article at Beoffices.com to learn about where different percentages of people want to work.
7Voice Your Concerns
So what can you do if your employer or coworkers aren’t following CDC health guidelines? The answer is simple: you need to voice your concerns.
Most employers want to know how their employees are feeling. Everyone is in this together, and by sitting down and letting them know your concerns, they’ll be able to try and go about resolving them.
If you’re worried that the conversation will turn hostile or that they’ll be unreceptive to your worries, remember that your work is just that: work. Your health and safety take precedence over any job, no matter how important it may seem.
It might be uncomfortable, but don’t be afraid to express yourself if something makes you feel unsafe.
Stay Safe With These Office Safety Tips
COVID-19 is still a serious threat—which means that you should make sure to treat it as such. If you’re heading back to the office for work, make sure to follow these office safety tips to ensure that you and those around you stay safe.
Do you now have a better understanding of how you can go about staying safe at work? If you do, make sure to check out some of our other articles for more articles that will help you stay happy, healthy, and productive.