Creating a Safe Office Space: How to De-Risk Your Workspace in a Time of Uncertainty
As companies prepare to go back to their usual workspaces soon, it is important that you take steps to de-risk your workspace and communicate these measures clearly in order to mitigate any uncertainty that comes with reopening. A truly safe office space is achievable if you have the right plan in place.
Follow official guidelines
State governments have established and released guidelines that aim to make office spaces as safe as possible for reopening. Take the time to familiarize yourself with this information since it covers everything you need to know to de-risk your workspace. It includes mandatory steps, along with suggestions for best practices to ensure that your employees are as safe as possible.
Besides the general guidelines, state governments have also released sector specific standards to make sure that there is no need to improvise or leave anything to chance. Emergency orders are frequently introduced, which include civil and criminal penalties for you and your business, so be sure to stay informed.
Maintaining a separation of six feet or more is a crucial foundation of social distancing. To help people comply with this measure, place marks on the floor (bright tape or large stickers are perfect) in areas like break rooms, kitchens, meetings rooms and reception areas where workers will likely be in close proximity to one another.
Rearrange workstations and desks to ensure that a safe distance is maintained at all times. These are the spaces that will be occupied for long periods of time and therefore pose a higher risk if contaminated. An additional step you can take is to regulate the maximum number of people in one place by staggering work, lunch, and break schedules.
Meeting sizes should also be limited to ensure that social distancing rules are met. To help de-densify meetings, you can encourage some people to participate remotely.
Wearing face coverings should be mandatory for all people in communal areas.
There should be easy access to handwashing facilities and staff should be encouraged to wash hands frequently. In addition, the provision of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol throughout the workspace, including high traffic areas such as corridors, reception areas and restrooms is a must.
In order to keep desks and workstations sanitized, it is important that you provide workers with cleaning supplies such as disinfecting wipes and encourage their frequent use.
High touch surface areas in your office – door handles, chairs, rest room counters, break room counters and workstations — should be cleaned and sanitized at least once a day to help reduce transmission.
Communicate safety protocols
Although the measures outlined in this article are extremely helpful in de-risking your workspace, they are only effective if they are adhered to and communicated extensively. Posting visible signage around the office reminding people of the hygiene and safety protocols is a crucial step in establishing safe practices around the office. It is also important to provide your team with printouts or digital documents outlining safety guidelines to answer any questions or concerns.
Quest Workspaces supports a safe, undisrupted and compliant work environment. Our workspaces focus on private offices with onsite support that enables social distancing, and also offer virtual office packages and remote services to keep your business moving forward from your home or Quest office. Contact Quest today to find a flexible solution that works for you, and discuss how to benefit from our services while also complying with local COVID-19 mandates.