Returning back to work after COVID-19 is going to be an adjustment.
2019, and January/Februrary of 2020 feels like a different world. Back then, we didn’t have to worry about contracting the coronavirus simply by touching a door handle or standing too close to someone who was asymptomatic. We didn’t have to invest in reusable face masks around with us everywhere we went, or keep tiny bottles of hand sanitizer in our pockets. There was life before COVID-19, and now there is life after COVID-19. And all of us, together, are going to experience an adjustment period returning back to “the working world.”
So, how can we keep ourselves and others safe in the process?
How can we ensure a second coronavirus outbreak doesn’t occur?
- Over-communicate with your employer(s)—and if you are a business owner, over-communicate with your employees.
Most businesses that are planning on reopening (or already have) are beginning with allowing employees to return to work in varying shifts.
This means one section of the staff will work some days, while other staff members work others. There will be morning and afternoon shifts, times of day when people can enter or leave the building, scheduled breaks, windows of time to ride the elevator, etc. This might sound like overkill, but when you imagine hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of employees returning to large-scale office buildings, these precautions are essential in order to ensure people remain safe and “socially distant” from one another.
- Invest in a reusable face mask.
Many companies are investing in face masks for their employees. For example, here at NxTSTOP we have already shipped out hundreds of thousands of masks to businesses like Samsung, Avis Budget Group, Henry Schein, and so on, looking to keep their employees safe.
If you are a business owner looking for very high-quality, adjustable, eco-friendly and consumer-safe face masks, please reach out to us here. We’re happy to help.
For the next few months, and most likely the rest of the year, it is going to be required for people entering businesses, corporate office buildings, and so on, to be wearing a face mask. So instead of buying cheap single-use face masks, make the additional investment to buy a reusable, dual-layer, ultrasoft and breathable face mask.
Especially if you’re going to be wearing your mask on and off all day long, you’re going to want to make sure you feel comfortable.
- Help keep your office space, car, and apartment building clean.
We all need to play our part in helping keep the outside world as clean and sanitary as possible, for everyone’s benefit.
It’s one thing to keep your house clean, your kitchen clean, or your home office clean. But take the extra step to help out around your office when you return to work. Wipe down a few door handles when you have a free moment. Wash your hands before and after you touch things in the common areas. Or, if you come across some hand sanitizer at your local drug store, help your office keep plenty on hand by buying some and asking the company to reimburse you.
Products your office should have on-hand at all times are:
- Hand soap
- Paper towels
- Tissues and hand wipes
- Face masks
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant spray
Small efforts like these go a long way, and the company will be appreciative to have you helping out.
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your team members.
Returning back to work is going to take time. The past few months have been difficult for everyone.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and others is maintain a positive attitude, and realize you and your team aren’t going to be as productive as usual right away. Working from home, everyone has had to adjust to new work schedules, new habits and routines, new ways of doing things. As offices begin to refill, these schedules and routines are going to have to shift back again, and that’s going to take some time.
If anything, it’s in your best interest to proactively talk about these things with your co-workers and leadership team members. That way, everyone can help each other.
- Coordinate healthcare resources.
Some companies will be offering coronavirus testing for their employees. Others will be encouraging employees to research what healthcare resources they have access to through their individual healthcare plans.
And for employees who are not full-time or do not have health insurance, local free clinics are your best place to start.
It’s important for all of us, in the near term and certainly the long term, to have an understanding of what resources are available for coronavirus testing. If you are unsure of what your company is planning to do, reach out to HR and ask for guidance as to how you can best utilize the company’s healthcare resources.