Worried About Heading Back to the Office? (Sanitising & Safety Tips!)
2020 has been a long year so far, and now that summer is coming to a close many children are going back to school and employees are going back into work.
Due to the fact that COVID-19 is still around, the working environment is going to look a bit different than it did roughly half a year ago when many people were sent home to work.
Companies have had to largely adjust the IT solutions they use, switching to cloud-based technologies that can be used remotely. The physical working environment is going to look a little different as well, with distancing signage, mask mandates, and other COVID-19 reminders that things aren’t quite going back to “normal” yet.
If you’re one of those employees that are heading back into the office either part-time or full-time, you might be worried about how to keep your work area safe and protect yourself from potential coronavirus exposure.
We’ve got several sanitising and safety tips you can use to help feel secure and stay safe.
Use a Multi-Layered Risk Mitigation Strategy
In industries such as aviation and healthcare, they use a multi-layered strategy when it comes to risk mitigation. This means that they understand that each tactic that might be implemented to mitigate a certain type of risk will have vulnerabilities.
But when several different risk mitigation tactics are used together, there is a cumulative effect that can significantly reduce risk, more so than any one tactic used alone.
You want to use that same multi-layer strategy when using the following tactics to make your workspace safe from COVID-19.
Choose a Comfortable Mask and Wear It
The use of face coverings is shown to provide some mitigation of the risk of contracting coronavirus, which is why mask wearing is compulsory in many shops, companies, and towns.
You want to make sure to choose your mask carefully. Choose one that is both comfortable and that fits snugly. If you have to adjust or pull up your mask all day, then all that hand-to-face touching could increase your risk.
Stay 2 Metres Away from Colleagues
Two metres is the recommended distancing to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19. This may not always be easy to maintain, depending upon your working environment, so to help alert colleagues to the safe distance zone, it’s helpful to put up markers (colored yarn or tape) that marks a 2 metre area around your workspace.
Use a Desk Shield for Extra Protection
A desk shield, which is typically made of plexiglass, can provide another important risk mitigation layer. This is especially true if your work area is in a high-traffic zone and you have people walking by regularly.
Desk shields have become quite popular due to the pandemic, so you can find them on multiple online shopping sites and also find DIY videos online that show you how to make one yourself.
Sanitise Your Workspace & Devices
While your employer may be sanitising the office regularly, you can gain additional peace of mind by sanitising your specific workspace and work devices.
For areas like desks, chairs, and other non-electronic surfaces you’ll want to use a qualified cleaner. You can find guidance for choosing surface disinfectants to use for COVID-19 here.
For devices like computer keyboards, a mouse, desk phone, and other electronics, you want to make sure they’re sanitised properly to both disinfect them and ensure they’re not harmed by using the wrong type of cleaner.
Tips for sanitising electronic devices:
- Do not use bleach
- Do not use water
- Use a solution of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol
- You can also use alcohol-based cleaning wipes
- Apply solution with a microfiber cloth or wand
- Allow solution to set for 30 seconds before using device
Open Windows When Possible
The weather doesn’t always cooperate when it comes to opening windows, but if you can, it does help reduce risk somewhat.
Outside areas are also safer than inside areas when it comes to the spread of the virus, so when possible, eat or take breaks outside rather than inside.
Wash Your Hands Often
Regular hand washing is proven to help mitigate spreading of germs and viruses. You don’t need any special type of hand cleaner, regular soap and water is shown to be effective at breaking down the coronavirus.
There are multiple touch surfaces in an office that we don’t even realize we’ve touched because we do it automatically. These include things like light switches, elevator buttons, door handles, and copier keypads.
Make sure you wash your hands frequently to reduce your risk of COVID exposure. Keep hand sanitiser on hand to use if you’re not able to get to soap and water.
Get Help with Smart Technology Solutions for Your Post-COVID Office Environment
Enable Technology can help your UK business with cloud technologies to power remote work and contactless solutions to serve customers. We’ll ensure your IT is prepared to support you in this new working environment.