Adapting Your Office For Safe Working
With lockdown restrictions slowly easing, the pressure is on for businesses to comply with Government-led guidelines and ensure social distancing and hygiene precautions are fully implemented in offices and workspaces. These include a coronavirus health and safety audit for all businesses of more than five people, increasing the frequency of cleaning and hand washing, and encouraging back-to-back or side-by-side working. With changes likely to be in place for the foreseeable, the emphasis is on employers taking responsibility for their employee’s health and safety.
1. Back To The Office
Many businesses are struggling with where to start and how to actually implement the changes. As we start the long road back to our new normality, it is important that our work spaces adhere to social distancing measures to enable businesses to begin trading fully again and lessen the future on our economy. Whilst many organisations are able to take advantage of remote working, for many UK businesses this is neither a sustainable or achievable way to work so ensuring the office is fully ready for staff to return is vital.
2. Hygiene Precautions
Steps need to be taken to ensure that additional hygiene practices become common place in the office. Hand sanitising units and antibacterial wipe dispensers are low cost, easy to install and will be essential in combatting the spread of infection.
3. Office Spacing
Consideration needs to be given to the working space of employees. Allowances should be made to avoid hot-desking wherever possible and desks should safely be spaced and divided. Remote working should be encouraged where possible to reduce face-to-face contact. In larger, open plan environments consider one way systems in walkways.
4. Staff Rotations
The number of staff in the office at any one time should be kept to the minimum required, with others working remotely. Teams grouped by varying skillset will allow for easy isolation, if required.
5. Cleaning Procedures
Deep cleaning will also be required to be increased as standard, with regular disinfecting of shared areas. High traffic contact zones such as handles, bathrooms, desks, chairs and kitchen areas will need wiping down with an antibacterial cleaner frequently throughout the day.