For the past couple of months, many workplaces have been shut down temporarily because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The virus can spread by having contact with infected droplets that an infected person can release through sneezing, coughing, speaking and exhaling. These droplets can also stay on surfaces for a long time and when touched, it can get into the body if one touches their face.

In the coming months, many countries will be easing their restrictions thus allowing more workplaces to open. However, it must be done with caution as we do not want to trigger another wave of infection when we just barely managed to flatten the curve. Everybody needs to pull their ranks and play their part, including businesses.

Hence, if you are a business owner, to prevent the spread of the virus in your workplace and be ready for the virus, here are some ways to do so:

Have workplaces regularly disinfected and cleaned

Always keep reminding your employees to disinfect their work stations regularly with alcohol or antibacterial wipes.

Wipe down table, computer, mobile phone and other things they have touched or used throughout the day. They should also clean it if someone has touched or used their stuff even for a short period of time.

Besides keeping your own work stations clean, have the cleaning company to increase their cleaning routine as well.

Promote regular hand washing and disinfection

A good way to combat the virus is by regularly washing your hands with soap or disinfecting them with alcohol or hand sanitiser.

Equipped your workplace with bottles of hand sanitiser placed in strategic positions like areas with the most human traffic ie. lifts, pantry, meeting rooms.

Practice good respiratory hygiene

While at work, you and your employees should wear a mask or face shields, especially if they will be speaking to each other during meetings or team building.

Teach your team the proper way of putting it on and off, and if they are using a disposable mask, make sure to replace them every 5 hours or as directed.

If you feel like you need to sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or your handkerchief. Dispose the paper tissue accordingly and disinfect any area that it touched.

Check the national guidelines for business trips during this time

If your employee needs to go for an essential business trip, check with the government with regards to business travel guidelines during the pandemic. You may be required to get a travel permit before you can do business trips.

You will also need to check with the arrival country on their entry and departure guidelines. Nobody wants to be stranded in a foreign country during this time so if travels can be postpone until later this year, try to do so.

Educate your employees about COVID-19

If your employees are still confused about the virus and what to do when the virus spreads in the community, do your best to explain it yourself. You can use the government’s COVID-19 resources to assist you in your efforts.

You can also reach out to conduct a special lecture on the virus and what can be done to prevent it, as well as how to act when a reported case is in the community or workplace.

Stagger Your Workforce

Instead of the normal office hours like pre-Covid days, stagger your employees to come into the office at different times and days.

A department can split into 5 to 7 groups of small clusters like these:
– Group 1 to report to work Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm
– Group 2 to report to work Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
– Group 3 to report to work Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
– Group 4 to report to work Monday to Friday 10 am to 7pm
– Group 5 to report to work Tuesday to Saturday 7am to 4pm
– Group 6 to report to work Wednesday to Sunday 8am to 5pm
– Group 7 to report to work Saturday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm
– Group 8 to report to work Sunday to Thursday 10 am to 7pm

You can rotate them to be fair to everyone. Or get everyone to pick one weekday to be their off days. Not everyone prefers to be on off on Saturdays and Sundays.

Practice Social Distancing whenever possible

Space their work desk to away from each other. The further the better but 1 metre is the recommended physical space. Advice your employees not to gather during lunch time and if possible, stagger their lunch time as well.

If there are any team building events like company dinner or party, it is better to push them back until end of this year or early next year. You don’t want it to be known as the Killer Party of the Year.

Continue to Promote Remote Working

If it is possible, continue to allow your staff to work from home. It is of a lesser business risk to have most of your employees work from home than to have one infected case in your workplace that may result in a shut down for 14 days.

You can assume that this arrangement will probably be the new norm now until a vaccine is found or the infection is no longer threatening. Many international companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are now exploring to maintain work from home structure in the long run.

Conclusion

In these uncertain times, you can never tell when the virus can strike. Fortunately, everyone is now on high alert and there are ways to prevent its continuous spread. With these simple tips, you can definitely prevent it from spreading in your workplace and putting everyone’s health at risk.

For more Covid-19 related articles, you can find them here:
Covid-19: Malaysia Movement Control Order Announcement – Biggest Impact will be Workers
Covid-19: Employees asked to Take Unpaid Leave by Companies
Covid-19 Outbreak: What are Companies doing right by their employees

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23 replies on “Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19

  1. Hi Kally, With lockdown getting released in many places, these tips are timely done, well done. For us the lockdown extended and so does my work from home too. I was able to talk with the guy that handles the process, it was a peptalk, we shared our knowledge and it was relaxing to understand the process they follow here. I’m sure it’s going to be fun once the lockdown completely released! 😉 I’m still waiting for the call from my head, with lockdown there is not much to do here, Looks like I’m going to be idle for sometime 🙂. Have a wonderful week Kally 💐

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great updates, Simon. At least, you have a new job to look forward to. I think that’s really exciting. Like a new chapter. Do you have a date when the lockdown restriction will be easing up?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s for next 30 days, so my actual job is affected, I am going to support other team for next 30 days, July 1st will be rlsd, then I should get back to my part. ☺️ Excited to support my team meanwhile and show them I can do that too, I Hope !! Let’s see 🙂 Yes a new chapter with a guest role 😉

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, it is good to support the other team because you get to network with others. You help them now, in future, they can help you too. Plus it will show you the culture of the company.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly, plus I need their support in order to accomplish my target in the future. I’ll be glad to be a part of them, plus having my hands on other roles adds extra weightage to my roles ☺️ excited to learn and work 😊👍 Thanks Kally for the kind words and support 🤗

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’m so happy to see you so positive in your new role. Many people would have moan and groan and complain given extra tasks that are not within their job scope. There are so many endless positivity in learning new things and challenging your mind.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. One should always be open to try new things ☺️ I’ll consider this as added knowledge in my profile, if I come through an opportunity in that sector, I’ll be confident to try 😊👍

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Wisdom personified; that’s YOU, Kally.
    Thanks for another timely POST.
    These days my “workplace” is only in my head. But be assured that it is sanitized (As God would have it.)
    I’m in favor of a Prudent reopening ASAP (The “P” being the key word).

    Life is a natural risk (physically & spiritually); we ought to not unnecessarily seek the imprudent. BUT We DO have to Open back up and get people back to work, and get these economies moving in the right direction again. And yes that will involve RISK, but so does living. Each of us must do our part to minimize these risk.
    God BE with Us,
    Patrick

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your important and timely input, Patrick. I believe we need to take baby steps, really tiny steps. We don’t want to have spike in new cases when we managed to contain them. Sure, economy recovery is important but health is priority. Without health, who cares about making money.

      Like

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