Returning to Work in the Age of COVID-19: 5 Tips
Let’s not sugarcoat it.
For the past month or so, workers around the world have faced unusual circumstances (at best), and significant financial, physical and emotional hardship (at worst). It’s up to all of us to support each other in these extraordinary times. We thank essential employees across the world, and especially workers in the medical field, who have continued waking up every morning to save lives.
As we move into the summer, states are beginning to develop plans to restart local economies. Whether this occurs over weeks or months, as workers begin trickling back into their offices, we must accept the reality of a new normal — at least until medical interventions are discovered and implemented.
With that in mind, here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing for your return to work.
Ask your supervisor for expectations and plans for coming back into the office. Ask about physical space from colleagues, protective equipment, and changes to hours, teams, or policies. Don’t forget to inquire about personal responsibilities for disinfecting work areas. Not only are these important safety considerations, they will help you prepare physically and mentally.
Some level of anxiety is normal and healthy — but don’t let stress dictate your mood. You can definitely do this! Perhaps your team will be spread around the office a bit more. Maybe there will be a medical screener waiting as you enter or exit the building. Perhaps you’ll be asked to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Whatever the changes are, it’s important to embrace them and remind yourself that while they may be annoying, these measures are a good thing!
Avoiding gathering in large groups
You know the drill! Even in states where pockets of outbreaks are uncommon, large groups should be avoided until further notice. If you’re accustomed to heading to the restaurant with your work buddies for a midday snack, it might be best to order takeout instead. Likewise, continue meeting with clients and co-workers through video conferencing whenever you can. If possible, consider avoiding crowded elevators and use the stairs instead.
Staying on top of your personal and workspace hygiene
If you’re going back to the office, it’s time to ramp up again! This means washing your hands regularly (don’t forget some hand lotion), cleaning your desk, mouse and keyboard daily, and avoiding the shared use of cups or utensils. Likewise, to the best of your ability, avoid touching doorknobs, pressing elevator buttons and shaking hands. If you do need to touch objects regularly, no problem, just make sure you use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face.
Planning your work commute
If you don’t have any other options but to use public transportation, consider wearing a face mask while traveling. In some cases, you might even discuss adjusting work hours to avoid rush hour public transportations. And as always, bring hand sanitizer for the journey!
Conclusion: Returning to Work in the Age of COVID-19: 5 Tips
At this point, we’ve lived with COVID-19 for long enough to know most of these tips. But it’s not a matter of knowing — it’s a matter of doing! Implement these new norms into your daily routine. It’s a small cost for the safety of your colleagues, yourself, and your families.
By: The Judge Group
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