As the UK prepares for, possibly, its second lockdown, the foremost question on business owners’ minds is “How can I proof my business against COVID-19 so that I can keep my doors open and my employees safe?”
A second full-scale lockdown would be catastrophic for the UK economy. Numerous countries such as Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Finland and several others responded effectively and quickly to reduce COVID-19 numbers rapidly and avoid economic meltdown.
But, regardless of our government’s ability or inability to respond intelligently to this enormous crisis, you still need to play your part in ensuring that your workplace is free of coronavirus.
Here are some steps you can take to do that.
Implement government guidelines
There are government guidelines which assist businesses in implementing best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
It’s important to carry out a COVID-19 workplace assessment to see precisely what needs to be done in order to future-proof your business against COVID-19.
For example, implementing COVID-19 workplace barriers is a simple option to institute, whether by putting plastic or plexiglass screens in front of everybody’s workspace, or implementing simple room separators to facilitate social distancing.
Have a response plan prepared in case of infection
You need to be prepared if somebody at the office is infected. At the very least, you should keep a stack of COVID-19 PCR Office Testing Kits ready for immediate use if someone exhibits symptoms of coronavirus such as coughing, high temperature or shortness of breath.
Alternatively, you could also call a team out to your office for COVID-19 testing so that you may receive immediate results.
At the very least, you should have a system in place where work shuts down for the day if there is any sign of an infection. Of course, having everybody set-up to be able to work from home on short notice goes without saying.
Surfaces should be disinfected regularly with one of the government-recommended cleaning agents.
This might even include disinfecting your premises regularly using fog, mist or vapour.
UV lights can also be effective in disinfection, but this depends on the room configuration. More information on this can be found here.
Please keep in mind, however, that some people might have negative reactions to strong cleaning products so any aggressive cleaning should be done well out of work hours. Whenever deciding to use a product that might be harmful to people’s health, please review the applicable laws and guidelines regarding this first.
Staggering work hours
It’s important to work out a staggered schedule for employees in order to reduce the number of people in an enclosed space at the same time.
If you need everybody working at the same time, give them the tools necessary to work remotely so that they are all in the “virtual office” at the same time, but in the “physical office” only at specific times.
Listen to employees
These are difficult times, and it is important to listen to employees’ concerns. Gone are the days when CEOs had the privilege of remaining somewhat aloof from employees’ concerns.
It is likely that they know best where the potential danger spots are in your business’ premises because they’re right there, on the ground. They can tell which areas have potentially high contamination chances.
Invest in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Make PPE free for your employees to use. Have a set of disposable masks they can grab when they come into the office every day.
Also, make sure you set up your space with cleaning stations, furnishing those stations with soap, hand sanitiser and paper towels.
Offer free testing for COVID-19 at the workplace
Testing is a touchy subject at the moment. Clinics are running out of tests due to the fact that demand for testing has reached an all-time high.
Government guidelines regarding Back to School COVID-19 Testing means that any child that has had symptoms must get tested for COVID-19.
People wishing to travel need to be tested for COVID-19 in many cases.
And, of course, there are people who simply want to be tested to ensure their families and friends are safe.
This demand for testing has put a tremendous strain on clinics and testing facilities, with some even running out of testing kits.
The simplest solution is to invest in several Office COVID-19 Testing Kits. Make your staff feel secure and reduce the burdens on them by offering free testing for each employee once a week or month. Not only will this increase the chances that your office stays free of COVID-19, but it will also build trust in your employees, and make them feel more secure, knowing that you care about their health and that of their families, too.
We are all in this together
Whether it is one business or many businesses, a school, a community, a building — we all share the burden of reducing the infection rates. The trick is to do it intelligently and without causing an economic meltdown. Proofing your office against COVID-19 is the best way to do that.