Everyone is still unsure about what the future holds with COVID-19 but one thing is for certain, the new “normal” for now is going to include social distancing and increased health and hygiene measures.
With restrictions easing and workers starting to return to the office/store it’s crucial to have proper measures and plans in place that follow the government’s recommendations to keep your staff and patrons safe.
These responses are going to have lasting effects so it’s crucial that you are taking all of the necessary actions. Read on to learn about what you can do to secure your office and a list of helpful resources you can access immediately.
Please note: this is a general guide of plans we intend to implement in our workplace. Employers should check for up-to-date protocols and advice from relevant government authorities.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s important to update policies to better respond to the pandemic. And to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19 wherever reasonably practical.
Not only will this help to keep your staff and others safe but it will communicate to the public that your organisation is taking an active role in safety. This may include:
Strict Enforcement Of Employees Staying Home If Sick
It’s important that employees are instructed to stay at home if they are sick and there are flexible arrangements that allow workers to take time off if they are ill.
If they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 it’s advised to self-isolate and call the National Coronavirus hotline (1800 020 080) for further instructions.
A Phased Return Approach/Alternate Hours
Slowly increasing the number of staff returning to the workplace allows you to better control the situation and ensure everything is set up correctly. It may be a good idea to give workers the choice of working from home or coming into the office or workplace to begin.
Depending upon your organisation it might also be possible to bring in shift arrangements to reduce the number of staff working at any given point in time.
Phone Or Video Conference Meetings
Instruct workers to conduct virtual meetings via online video conference or over the phone. If this is not possible, hold meetings in large spaces and keep them short.
COVID Safe App Education
You cannot force employees as a requirement to come back to the workplace or as a general workplace rule to install the COVIDsafe app.
But educating them about the benefits of the application will help increase the number of those that do use the app and thus better track those potentially infected.
Appoint A COVID Safety Officer
Nominating a worker or team of workers to champion safe practices will help teach other colleagues the proper procedures of safety and give a point of contact to direct any questions.
This officer or team should lead by example with up to date knowledge of the recommendations from health professionals.
It’s important to have strict hygiene guidelines in place that all employees understand and adhere to.
This could be the frequency of cleaning hands, sanitising desks/foreign objects to the office or workplace, avoiding touching certain objects or sharing workstations/office equipment.
Develop Protocol If a Worker Is Infected
Have a plan in place about what will happen if a worker is suspected or confirmed with COVID-19, including how to support that staff member and keep other staff safe.
This Infographic is a good place to start.
2. Visibility & Hygiene
To help enforce policies and reduce the risk of spread you should utilise social distancing visibility products to keep everyone at least 1.5m apart.
Social Distancing Floor Stickers
These stickers are a popular way to either remind staff and customers to maintain social distancing or as a suggestion of where customers should line up or workers perform tasks. Ideally, you should have one at entrances and throughout high traffic areas.
We supply Social Distancing Decals in a variety of sizes, colours and designs. You can even include your company logo on some styles for personalisation.
Call us on 1300 303 717 for instant assistance. Fast delivery Australia wide.
Imposing limits on the number of people that can be in a certain space at any given time.
It’s best to follow professional health advice about how much space should be given per person. And place signage or a poster at the entrance so all employees understand this.
Hygiene Posters & Stickers
Place things such as signs, posters and stickers in high traffic areas such as lifts, staircases and entrances to ensure the maximum safe capacity is not exceeded and physical distancing occurs.
And in bathrooms have graphics that instruct the correct way to wash your hands with soap and the importance of doing it frequently.
Readily Available Hand Sanitisers
Having hand sanitiser stations at the entry and exit points around the workplace along with any high traffic locations is highly advised.
It also presents an excellent marketing opportunity for your business by providing custom branded sanitisers to visitors and staff. Promotion Products has options for both undecorated and promotional use.
There are a variety of size options available from 30mL, suited for personal use to 1-litre bottles which can be used by many.
Other Social Distancing Products
There are many more products that will help with health safety and social distancing such as themed mousemats, caps, pop up banners, soap canisters and more.
Shop the full range of Custom Social Distancing Products now.
Re-establish Culture And Connection
With the workforce being so disconnected, it’s more important than ever to reintroduce your company culture and establish a positive atmosphere.
It could be a good opportunity to do some team-building exercises or give them some company merchandise so they feel apart of the team again.
Clear communication is going to be the key to success.
Mental Health Resources
The global pandemic has brought upon many additional stresses and caused an increased risk of mental health-related issues for Australians both work and non-work related.
It’s important to have meaningful and clear communication with staff to gauge their wellbeing and be understanding of their situation.
And to provide them with a point of contact to discuss talk about things and or refer workers to wellbeing support services if relevant.
Financial Help Resources
With rising unemployment and a recession looming, financial pressures are going to build upon many Australians.
Providing staff members with helpful financial resources they can use if they choose is going to be very beneficial.
Temporary debt protection, early release of super, deductions for home office expenses and other relevant details are just some examples.
Read more about COVID-19 assistance the government is offering here.
Utilise Staff Gifts To Uplift
Promotional merchandise is a guaranteed way to bring a smile to anyone. Who doesn’t love to receive gifts after all? It’s also a fantastic rewards incentive for staff to maintain safe work routines.
It’s a small token of appreciation that directly lets your staff know that you value them and says more than words ever could.
There are plenty of great options available such as pens, coffee cups, glassware, apparel, bags and more.
Or a good idea is products that allow the recipient to enjoy the outdoors again such as picnic blankets, umbrellas, backpack, cooler bags etc.
Ensure any areas frequented by workers are cleaned daily with detergent or disinfectant and frequently touched objects are cleaned several times a day such as EFTPOS machines, elevator buttons and handrails.
Clean personal property that comes to work such as sunglasses, phones and tablets.
Interactions With Others
Remind workers about limiting contact with others or objects. No shaking hands or necessarily touching objects.
Keep your distance to reduce the spread.
Hand Washing Hygiene
Ensure all employees know the correct way to wash their hands and the importance of doing so correctly.
It’s also a great idea to set up automatic alerts to remind workers to wash their hands throughout the day and avoid touching their face.
Moving Work Stations
Moving work stations, desk and tables to meet social distancing standards. This means that all work stations should be at least 1.5 meters apart from one another.
Being sure to be flexible in updating as things change and follow the up to date latest guidelines from the government.
Review your regular deliveries and request contactless if possible. It’s also a good idea to check if online invoicing can be done.
If visitation isn’t required and a meeting can take place via Zoom this is also a positive habit to adopt.
Sneezing/Coughing Into Sleeve
Limit the spread of germs by getting everyone into the habit of sneezing or coughing into their sleeve.
Or using a tissue that is immediately thrown away and then hands are washed.
Test Locations Education
It’s a good idea to instruct employees of the closest COVID test locations available in the instance they are experiencing symptoms.
And update them of the procedure if they are experiencing any potential symptoms or have been in contact with some with COVID-19
Check Out These Other Helpful Resources For Dealing With COVID-19
Above are just some things you can do right now to get your office or workplace prepped and ready for the new “normal”.
Also, see some of these helpful resources below that will assist you in adapting to the change.