How to Create a Safe Workspace As States Slowly Begin to Reopen

As we all have been playing our part to march through this pandemic safely and flatten the curve, states are beginning to (slowly) reopen, and many organizations are now able to open their offices once more to employees. 

Even for those among us who have pined for more working from home opportunities for years, we may have gotten a little more than we bargained for these past two months. While the prospect of returning to the office is exciting, the responsibility of practicing social distancing guidelines and intentional sanitization efforts isn’t completely out the window. 

Below, we’ll share some tips to help organizations ensure they are providing a safe, clean, and prepared workspace as employees begin to return to the office. 

Maintain distancing between employees

By now, we’re pretty good at visually assessing when another person is encroaching on our 6-foot protective bubble. This (nearly subconscious) awareness of distancing should also extend to the office. Reorganize seating arrangements to maintain at least 6 feet of distance to the best of your ability. Encourage employees to consider spatial distance as they walk throughout the office as well, giving a wide berth to other workers and only taking trips around the floor when absolutely necessary. 

It’s best for all internal meetings to still be facilitated through video conferencing software rather than a crowded conference room. Encourage employees to use the stairs or limit groups of people using elevators (you could even start an office steps challenge to encourage stair-users!). 

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize

Hand washing has become the golden rule of the year. Make sure your employees are supplied with ample amounts of hand soap, sanitizer, or disinfectant wipes to keep those hands clean. All commonly used areas or touched surfaces should be diligently wiped down and cleaned, including bathrooms, sinks, door handles, light switches, guest check-in areas, lunch areas, counters, and desks. Prop entry doors open (if possible) as well as conference room doors when their use is absolutely necessary. If you can install hands-free credentialing systems (in place of badges, key fobs, etc.) to gain access to locked areas, it will be well worth the investment. 

Promote transparent illness reporting 

While it was always best practice to encourage sick employees to stay home, it’s now more important than ever. Make sure all employees know they are strongly encouraged to stay home if they begin to feel ill or to notify managers immediately if they begin to feel sick at work. Remind employees of the most common COVID-19 symptoms so they can accurately self-monitor their own health. Be sure to also check with your individual state’s reopening guidelines, as some states may require daily health forms to be submitted to HR departments for them to legally reenter the office. 

It may be an uneasy first few weeks as the overall company becomes accustomed to this new normal, but with constant practice, these safety practices will soon become second nature and ensure a safe working environment during this pandemic and after. 

RHM Staffing Solutions

Finding it hard to confidently hire the talent you need in these challenging times? You’re not alone, and RHM Staffing Solutions is here to help. 

Our team of dedicated recruiters has the networks and industry know-how required to help great organizations find great manufacturing, light industrial, and engineering talent.
Give us a call today to learn how we can do it for you.