Our Workplace Solution Provider’s Advice On Getting The Office Ready For Return
This year’s COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted two major things. Firstly, just how closely we come into contact with so many people, daily, and secondly, that hygiene is still very important - shock horror! (the fact that some people needed reminding of this fact has us baffled here at Lemon…). For those who are now starting to return to the office for work, it’s going to be a necessarily different experience, and will no doubt take some getting used to. The team here at Lemon, a leading UK workplace solutions provider, wanted to look at the ways in which offices are having to change (outlined here by the UK Government), and steps which will need to be taken to best reduce the risk of virus transmission.
First and foremost, you should review the office layout. Is it currently configured with social distancing in mind? The chances are, probably not. Whilst we all at times probably wish for it (especially for our more annoying colleagues), office spaces aren’t traditionally designed to be socially distanced from one another. Usually, their layout seeks to maximise the ease of collaboration and communication, wherever possible. Obviously, that now all has to change.
The ideal setup is to have staff working at separate desks, two metres apart. That isn’t always possible, however. Where this level of distancing isn’t feasible, the recommendations are that you work back-to-back or side by side. The main thing is that you avoid face-to-face working as much as possible. If that’s still not possible, though, then don’t worry, there are still certain workarounds as we’ll see later on!
One of the main things in the office environment is to reduce the number of people coming into contact with one another. Implementing one-way systems is one such means of doing this. Marking the floor out with tape is a cheap and easy way to get people circulating around the office in a prescriptive manner.
Other Office Considerations
No hot-desking! Yes, you heard us correctly, you need to make sure the office equipment you’re using is yours and yours alone. This may mean purchasing some new stationery supplies, so that everybody is properly equipped. We offer a range of office products, here at Lemon, including printing paper, pens, notebooks, folders and more. Paying for some extra stationery is a small price to pay for increased staff safety and wellbeing! Another thing you can do is stagger break and shift times, so that employees aren’t coming across each other as frequently.
Frequency Of Handwashing And Surface Cleaning (Cleaning Stations)
We’ve all become expert cleaners over the past few months. The danger now, however, is clearly the risk of complacency creeping back in. It’s imperative that surfaces are still regularly wiped down, and employees regularly wash their hands - especially in those instances where touching communal surfaces can’t be avoided. As a workplace solutions provider, part of our role is to offer sanitising products such as disinfectant wipes and sprays. If your office is large enough, it may even be worth considering a ‘misting’ machine; these are walkthrough pieces of equipment that cover you with a fine spray of disinfectant (hence mist) as you pass through.
The more thorough that an employer can be, the better protected their team will be. With so many unknowns still surrounding the virus, extra caution can provide reassurance to the more anxious amongst your workforce. Taking employee temperatures, for instance, is quick and easy and serves as a generally accurate barometer for a staff member’s health at that time. Lemon provides infrared thermometers from manufacturer, KZED, as well as other personal safety supplies, such as three-ply surgical masks. Where office buildings are more crowded, or perhaps less ventilated, these masks can add an extra buffer to virus transmission.
The Government advises that if you’re unable to work 2 metres apart, then you put mitigating features in place. Perspex screens are one such feature. We’ve seen them already in retail settings to better protect both the customer and shop worker, but they’re helpful in any internal setting! Here at Lemon, we provide bespoke perspex office screens, tailor made to any size! These sheets of plastic, also known as sneeze screens are amongst the most effective barriers, because they’re exactly that - a physical barrier.
Whether we like it or not, this is very much going to be the new ‘normal’ for the foreseeable future. Decking out your office with the appropriate equipment will not only protect your staff, it’ll put them more at ease as well.So, if you’d like to find out more about ourworkplace solutions provider, then get in touch! Contact Lemon today by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us on 0333 241 6950.