As the COVID-19 death toll tops 200,000, it’s more important than ever for businesses to abide by social distancing guidelines.
Odds are, your business has already attempted to transition to a different work environment due to the ongoing pandemic. But, there are always more things that your business can do to protect both the employees and customers. While there is still a lot of unknown about COVID-19, there are a few things you can do to make your office safer.
Keep reading to discover seven simple tips to help enforce social distancing at work.
1. Keep Desks Six Feet Apart
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended social distancing by six feet since the beginning of the pandemic. Due to this recommendation, businesses have to get creative with their arrangements.
Start by mapping out the square footage of your office. The first thing you need to decide is if there is even enough room for six feet of separation between every employee. If there is, you need to work with the space you have to make the separation possible. If you don’t have enough room, try some of the other tips in this article.
To acclimate social distancing, move the desks around as needed. While someone may have previously had a large office to themselves, they may need to partner up with another employee now. Large conference rooms, break rooms, and kitchens can also be used to house desks.
Even with your employees separated by six feet, they should still wear a mask when indoors since COVID-19 is airborne.
2. Use Separation Screens
Where six feet of separation isn’t possible or you need a little bit of extra separation, you’ll want to use specially made barriers for work. These barriers are generally made of plastic or glass and used as a physical separation between two people.
You can place the barriers in between desks to separate work areas. Replace traditional cubicle walls with plastic barriers that provide a higher degree of separation. Barriers are also great for places where employees interact with customers, such as cash registers or reception desks.
Here are some social distancing products that may be the perfect solution for your office.
3. Keep Clients, Customers Out
Physical distancing can be tough enough to handle with all your employees. But the situation gets a lot harder to handle when you add in customers and clients to the equation.
To ensure that both your customers and employees remain healthy, create a temporary ban on customers in the office. While this may seem impossible, there are many ways you can get creative to conduct business remotely.
Hold business conversations over the phone, through a video call, or with email correspondence. If your business sells products, create an online sales portal for your customers to purchase from.
Some businesses that provide services may not be able to conduct business virtually. If this is the case, eliminate walk-ins and require appointments. That way, you can control how many people are in your building at once.
4. Use Place Markers, Directional Signage
If your office has high-traffic areas, such as hallways, you need to provide directions to your employees and customers. Odds are, if you’ve been in a retail store recently, you’ve seen this signage in action.
Start by placing areas in hallways to show which direction people should be walking in. If possible, you’ll want all hallways to be one-way traffic. From there, place markers on the floor in waiting areas, such as near the reception desk or outside the bathroom. This will show people were to stand to remain six feet apart.
5. Hold Remote Meetings
Staying safe at work means eliminating large gatherings of people.
Often times, businesses conduct group meetings to have discussions and share ideas. While these are good for the progress of your business, they make it impossible to socially distance. Instead of holding these meetings in person, hold them virtually via video calls.
It may seem weird to talk to each other virtually while you’re all in the same office, but it allows everyone to communicate at once.
6. Use Rotating Shifts
Another great way to lower the number of people in the office at once is to use rotating shifts.
Traditional offices usually operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with everyone working on the same shift. While this is convenient for communication purposes, it means that everyone is exposed. Instead, break up the workday into multiple shifts.
By having multiple shifts, everyone will still work their required hours. But, now if someone comes to work with COVID-19, only one shift will have to quarantine. This will actually end up making more sense for your business.
7. Reduce the Number of Workers in the Office
If worse comes to worst, you can always reduce the number of workers who are physically required to be at the office. In today’s digital age, many jobs are able to be performed remotely.
Start by deciding which jobs can be done completely remotely. Then, ask these employees how they would prefer to work. Some people will volunteer for remote work while others prefer to come into the office. Giving your employees the choice will make them feel valued and ensure that they are happy with the situation.
Social Distancing at Work Is Possible
Social distancing at work is possible and it’s important to keep both your employees and clients safe and healthy.
Start by rearranging your office to accommodate social distancing and use separation screens when necessary. Reduce the number of visitors in your business and use markers and directional signage for high-traffic areas. When possible, you should also consider remote meetings, rotating shifts, and have a few remote workers.
Looking for more ways to help your business thrive during these unprecedented times? Be sure to browse the rest of this site for all the best tips and tricks.