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How can employees safely return to the office?

Answer: 

Staying at home until a Covid-19 vaccine is created sounds like a great idea but it’s impractical. As risky as returning to the workplace may seem - the economy and our wallets simply won’t be able to bear it. We will need to be flexible and adapt to a new way of doing things at the office.

Social distancing and other preventative measures still apply in the workplace, so the best way to protect yourself at work is to adhere to the following rules:

  • Wear a face mask at all times. Employees must be given three face masks free of charge by their employer.
  • Maintain social distancing in the office. If you share a desk with someone, ask to be moved to another space at least 2 meters away.
  • DO NOT go to work if you or someone in your household is showing symptoms of Covid-19 - phone your employer to notify them of the situation.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk.
  • Disinfect surfaces often, especially in an open-plan environment.
  • Avoid the exchange of physical documents by sharing files digitally via email or the cloud.
  • Avoid group work
  • Host virtual meetings with clients and colleagues over Skype or Zoom etc.
  • Limit the number of people in the elevator with you (max 4 people) or take the stairs (but avoid touching the handrails) 
  • Don't share your phone or other stationery.
  • Don't stand in large groups, even when outdoors.
  • Phone a colleague rather than visiting their workspace and encourage others to do the same.
  • Bring lunch from home and bring your own water bottles in a reusable fabric bag.
  • Carry only the essentials with you. This includes your cellphone, wallet, keys, tissues, hand sanitiser, and an extra face mask.
  • Wear simple outfits that can be washed as soon as you arrive home and don't wear belts, jewellery, or extra bags.

Read: Assess your risk level of contracting Covid-19 at work

 

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