What you need to know about reopening the workplace

10 August 2020

After several months in lockdown many workplaces are now reopening and looking to return to something of a state of normality. In many cases this is easier said than done – how do you ensure that your staff are coming back to a safe environment that isn’t going to become a COVID-19 hot spot? Although it takes preparation and planning it is possible to reopen your workplace so that it’s a safe space for your staff, clients and other visitors – below are some suggestions of what to do.

  • Encourage staff to avoid public transport where possible. Walking and cycling were identified by the government as the optimum way for staff to travel to work at this stage during the pandemic but individual cars work too. If your staff are avoiding public transport then they are less likely to pick up the virus on the way in and spread it around the office. If they have to use public transport, ensure they adhere to the latest guidelines and wear protective face masks
  • Introduce more comprehensive hygiene measures in the office. It’s important to ensure that your staff are focused on hygiene as it’s one of the simplest ways to make sure COVID-19 doesn’t spread. Hygiene stations equipped with sanitiser gel can make this easier as well as providing staff with anti-bac wipesand anti-viral door handle
  • Take precautions. Anti-viral desk screens are a very easy way to help maintain some kind of social distance in your workplace and are fairly cost effective to put up. Face masks are now mandatory in shops but face coverings have, so far, not been made a requirement in offices. Depending on your business you may need to provide staff with PPE if they are in customer facing roles – basic requirements are hand sanitiser gel, protective vinyl or nitrile gloves and face masks plus maintaining the appropriate distance from anyone.
  • Make sure your staff know that you’re taking this seriously. As many aspects of life return to normal it’s easy to forget, even for a moment, that COVID-19 is still out there and still very much a threat. To keep your employees on the ball you might want to consider putting signs up around the office that remind people to wash their hands and remain socially distant. Email reminders and daily briefings can be useful too.
  • Rethink the way that people move around the office. There is still a requirement to stay distant from one another even if this has been reduced. You can facilitate this in an office environment by ensuring that everyone is moving in the same direction around the office. You might need signs or floor markers to ensure that this happens. Staggering arrival and departure times for staff can also be useful, as it will mean you can avoid a situation where large numbers of people are trying to get into or out of the office at the same time.

Creating a safe and COVID-19 – free workplace is an essential step for any business that is reopening and looking to do so in line with government advice. Crucially, this advice is changing regularly so a key part of being compliant will be staying up to date with the latest news.

MBM Omega is a designated COVID-19 secure workplace in line with Government certification. To find out more about how you can create a COVID-19 safe workplace, get in touch today or explore our range of PPE and sanitisation products online here.