Back to the Office: 7 Ways to Stay Safe in Your Workplace Post Pandemic
Covid-19 has been brutal on everyone. Indefinite lockdowns, consistently cleaning and washing our hands, overburdened hospitals and businesses that could no longer sustain their employees. These are some of the glimpses the world went through all through 2020. But, even though the virus is near eradicated and has mutated into a different strain, with a vaccine on the market and guidelines issued by the CDC, comparatively, there is some hope in keeping yourself safe from getting infected.
Steadily, businesses and companies are also following suit and reopening offices, ultimately calling you back to work and giving remote offices a rest. But, organizations cannot go back to the way they were. This is because the virus has lingering effects and is a more potent form of the pathogen in the atmosphere. Likewise, employees who had Covid and recovered may have suffered heavily under the effects of the virus, making it challenging for them to perform to their maximum capacity. So how do you keep yourself safe? Here’s what you can do:
- Express Your Concerns To Your Employer
In the 21st century dealing with a pandemic of this magnitude is a first for everyone. Your employer may not be sure how to handle the situation or what choices to make to restart the company’s office. Therefore, by expressing your concerns about discussing the framework of a healthy workplace, you can facilitate the process of creating a business model that is safe to reopen. Talk about the distance between desks, encourage a sanitation station and ask your employers to invest in more ventilation. If you’re working in a closed building, you need windows and open spaces to aerate the area. You should also ask your coworkers to participate in this conversation, especially those with families, as every choice will impact their children.
- Get Vaccinated
Vaccinations give you passive immunity. This line of defense guides your natural immunity on the type of white blood cells to produce and how to dim the impact of the virus. So if you get Covid after your vaccine, unless you have other underlying health conditions, combatting Covid will not take an immense toll on your body and your condition has a low chance of turning critical. Likewise, there is also a chance that your body can ward off the illness successfully because of the vaccine. There are specific guidelines laid out for getting vaccinated. These include getting a primary shot and two booster shots within three to six months of each other. Following this cycle is important because it regulates your immunity. Skipping a dose or not adhering to the prescribed timeline is not a good idea.
- Limit Attending Social Events
Office parties and social events are a big part of the corporate culture. So once your employer calls everyone back to work, expect these gatherings to follow suit. However, before you start canceling every corporate event, go through the details. You can go to those if it’s an outdoor event following the written capacity limit. But if it’s a social event in a closed unit with too many of your coworkers invited, skip out on those. Covid is an airborne virus; all it takes is one handshake or someone sneezing in your direction for the microbe to spread. You also cannot guarantee if the waiting staff and the kitchen members serving at the party are following the prescribed guidelines and upholding the necessary hygiene standards. Until the threat of Covid comes down to a manageable level, you will have to play it safe.
- Work A Hybrid Schedule
Your employer will be operating according to your state laws. So if there is a limit to the number of employees allowed on the premises at a time, they will have to listen. In such cases, you may get the option to utilize a hybrid schedule, don’t miss out on this opportunity. Spending time at work and home limits exposure and gives room to those who struggle to work from home. The virus is also not spread freely, and you get to maximize productivity. For most organizations, this is also the best way to prevent office overcrowding and keep the business running on schedule.
- Clean Your Desk
Since the virus tends to cling to surfaces and soon infect you, a quick wipe of your cubicle can cut down its impact. Using a cleaning wipe like those produced by the company Lysol, you can wipe any surface and ensure it’s free of microbes. There are also cleaners designed for gadgets and metals; you can use them to quickly sweep your desktop, phone, and laptop. Additionally, upholding these standards is also beneficial for Immunocompromised employees. If you or your coworker has a weak immune system, cleaning your unit can prevent you from getting sick or experiencing an allergic reaction.
- Follow Good Hygiene Practices
Showering helps you wash off many pathogens lingering on your skin. It also gets rid of sweat and filth that can make you sick. The best way to set a shower routine for yourself is after work. But if you work in healthcare and get exposed to patients, you may need to shower before and after work while changing your scrubs daily. Regular office workers wear freshly cleaned clothes and a face mask to work. You should also carry a pocket-sized sanitizer to sanitize your hands as you do your job.
- Get Tested When Exposed
Despite you taking all the necessary precautions, there is a chance one of your colleagues may have some symptoms. If you learn that someone came to work with Covid, you need to spring into action and get yourself tested. Even if you show no signs, quarantine yourself since you can be asymptomatic. Once your self-isolation period is over, get tested again. If you have children make sure you distance yourself from them and don’t let them near you. Keep your colleagues and boss in the loop to curb the infection.
The devastating effects of the Covid-19 virus have mellowed, but there is still a threat. This pathogen is mutating consistently, and you have already survived through four waves. This is why returning to work means you have to continue taking precautions. The virus is still at large and can infect you. Discussing with your employer is a great way to raise concerns and illustrate the best course of action in reopening the office. You should also ensure you have all the necessary vaccines to get back into society. Be smart about the gatherings you will attend and choose to stick to a hybrid schedule. Cleaning your cubicle and following a suitable hygiene protocol also keeps you safe. However, if your coworker still shows up sick. Make sure you act accordingly by getting tested and self-isolating.