Returning To the Office During the Pandemic
Many employees have been operating remotely since the pandemic first came about. However, the time to return to an in-person work environment is approaching for many employees. If you have received the call to come back to work, you may be worried about the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Other than the usual precautionary steps of washing hands, wearing a mask in common areas, and covering your cough, here are a few more tips to stay healthy. When returning to the office, think through daily routines and take precautions. Keeping your distance, avoiding group gatherings, recognizing frequently touched surfaces, and being upfront with concerns can help everyone stay healthy when settling into the new “normal.”
Mind The Gap For Safety
Returning to work after being on auto-pilot in your work-from-home environment may feel a bit awkward at first. Keeping your distance may be out of the norm, as your family (or your pet) may not mind invading your space. However, as a personal best practice remember to stay out of your co-workers’ orbits to be sensitive to their space and can keep yourself out of harm’s way. In addition to social distancing with other individuals, also remind yourself to avoid large group gatherings. Coming into close contact with someone who is sick presents a potential risk to infect anyone within a six-foot radius.
- Redesign conference room seating to ensure at least six feet of distance between seating arrangements
- Avoid congregating in the breakroom and consider eating at your desk or outside
- Enroll in virtual meetings as often as possible
- Avoid run-ins with others in crowded elevators. Take the stairs or take the next one
Be Aware of High-touch Surfaces
As returning back to the office becomes more common for employees, be cognizant of frequently touched surfaces where germs may be hiding. Surface-to-person transmission isn’t the primary way COVID-19 spreads — however, surfaces can carry germs you’ll want to avoid. Limit your exposure by reducing your contact with contaminated surfaces, and be aware of the biggest contributors.
- Elevator Buttons
- Door Handles
- Desktops & Keyboards
- Office Equipment
- Coffee Stations or Water Coolers
- Microwaves and Refrigerators
The Landlord’s Extra Care Practices
Employees have a right to know what sort of precautions are being made to ensure a safe workplace. And employees will be upfront with their concerns and office requirements. Landlords can do their part when facing these challenges by enacting social distancing procedures in lobbies and limiting capacity in elevators. Landlords need to carefully evaluate every aspect of the employee journey and find ways to apply distancing and sanitization best practices. Before resuming operations, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers more information for employers to slow the spread.
Engaging in more aggressive cleaning strategies and noting high-touch surfaces will make returning to work less stressful for tenants. Utilizing new technology and tools to monitor contract tracing is a great way to stay in front of the issue and provide employees the communication they need to feel safer.
Our Brokers Stay Informed
The team at Plaza Companies has worked in partnership with our clients for many years. Although current challenges present unforeseen situations, our brokers offer solutions based on years of experience. When you are in need of finding commercial space, find a broker you can trust with Plaza Companies. We will start helping you find a property that is a great fit for you today!