- Preventing a disastrous Covid-19 spread in the office is a civic duty.
- Create an infection control plan and ensure hygiene and cleanliness are top priorities.
- Set new rules in the office in line with social distancing rules of keeping people 1.5 metres apart.
We are all learning the benefits of proper hand washing and hygiene in recent weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On a personal level, we’ve heard and read plenty of media coverage and governmental advice on what we should all be doing to minimise the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
But what about at the office or your place of business? While some businesses have been mandated to close, some can still carry on. If your business still needs to keep operations going, how can that be best managed with social distancing rules in Australia?
These are 10 top tips to keep your premises clean and hopefully, virus-free.
- Create an infection control plan for the workplace and ensure your staff are on board with proper training
- Make it easy for people to wash hands with proper directions to toilets, place proper hand washing instructions and top up the soap frequently.
- Place sanitisers at high-traffic areas (i.e. entry to office, kitchen and bathroom areas).
- Don’t share cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery. Ensure all dirty dishes are washed properly with soap and water.
- To prevent people loitering, get rid of magazines and papers from waiting areas or common rooms such as tea rooms and kitchens.
- Provide tissue boxes and encourage staff to use them.
- Be sure to clean a person's workstation or other areas where they have been if they are suspected or have tested positive with Covid-19 virus.
- Check your ventilation and ensure it is working optimally to circulate the air.
- Always follow the latest government rules on social distancing or lockdowns.
- Speak to cleaners and ensure (or extend) their cleaning to include disinfecting sinks, door and cupboard handles, railings, objects, counters, etc.
Apart from keeping your premises clean, you should change things up to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Social distancing means keeping a physical distance between people to reduce or stop community transmission. Without a proven vaccine, social distancing is one of the ways to curb the virus spread.
- Stop handshakes, high-fives or hugs in the office.
- Conduct online meetings whenever possible. Whether it’s by phone, online chat or video conference, you can get a lot done without meeting face to face.
- If needed, conduct face to face meetings in large rooms or open spaces, so that everyone can keep a safe distance from each other according to the appropriate social distancing rules, 1.5 metres to 2 metres apart.
- Let your staff work remotely or from home. Alternatively, you can allow flexible hours to ensure the office can adhere to social distancing rules.
- You should cancel any non-essential work travels and events. If it is necessary, try conducting them online.
- Minimise or avoid using public transport. Try driving or cycling to work instead. Another workaround is shifting your work hours, so your employees can use public transport during off-peak hours.
- Instead of everyone congregating in the pantry, do a staggered lunch break with social distancing.
- Employees should spend as little time as possible in high traffic areas such as the kitchen, tearooms, lobby or near photocopy machines.
Check out WHO guidelines on what to do to stay healthy and curb the virus spread in these videos:
- How to wash hands properly WHO YouTube video
- Coronavirus 19 - WHO YouTube video - Whats known about the virus
- Coronavirus - how it works and transmits - on our YouTube channel
Take care and stay well people.
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