Quick Tips For Staying Safe
If you've been following along with our blog series this week HERE, HERE and HERE, we've given you a lot to think about when it comes to keeping your workplace COVID-19 secure. Today, we thought we'd keep it a bit simpler, and offer some top tips and ideas that shouldn't involve too much cost or time to implement, but could reduce the risk to your employees and customers while we are still battling the pandemic.
Please remember, these are just suggestions - you will need to decide, preferably in consultation with your employees, which are acceptable in your workplace. We're taking no responsibility for disputes!
As always, the advice in this series is by no means intended to be legal or expert. We have taken our suggestions largely from HM Government’s document “Working Safely During COVID-19 in offices and contact centres”, which you can read for yourself HERE.
Arriving To, and Leaving From Work
Consider staggering arrival and departure times at work to reduce crowding - especially where corridors, stairs etc are involved. Take special account of the impact on disabled workers and pregnant women, for example.
Can you provide additional parking, or facilities such as bike racks, to help people avoid public transport?
Limit passengers in vehicles. This could mean sending more vehicles out if possible, with fewer people in each. Even better, send as few people out as possible!
Reduce congestion by increasing the number of entry and exit points to the building - is there a back door you can use, to create a one-way system?
Provide individual storage for workers' clothes and bags, to reduce any transmission risk.
Provide as many opportunities for hand washing and santitising as possible - more is best in this situation.
Reduce touch points as much as possible. Can you keep cupboards unlocked and disable keypad entry codes for a while - especially while there are fewer people around? Can the entrance and exit be left open? (It'll provide more ventilation too).
Movement Around Buildings and Sites
Discourage non-essential movement. Remove water-coolers and have employees bring their own water bottle. Telephone accounts instead of walking upstairs to see them - you'll have to get your exercise elsewhere for the time-being.
Cancel hotdesking - nobody actually likes it anyway - get some extra desks in and give everyone their own space. There are probably some spare desks around while people work from home.
Introduce as many one-way routes through the building as possible. Can the front stairs be used for going up, and the back stairs for coming down?
Reduce maximum capacity for lifts - even better, reserve their use for disabled workers - especially if you've implemented one-way stairs!
Provide hand sanitiser in high touch areas, such as near lift keypads, door handles etc.
Workplaces and Workstations
Make sure workstations are spaced to allow for social distancing wherever possible. If it's not possible to assign a workspace per employee (payment tills for example) try to rotate between as few people as possible. For example, grow A uses till A, group B till B etc.
Mark the floor! We are all used to this by now. Marking the floor with tape or paint can really help people remember to distance.
If desks must be shared between shifts, in call centres for example, try colour coding. 'green' staff can use desks with a green dot and so on.
Don't forget to open windows and keep a good flow of fresh air!
Do you really need to meet face to face? Will a video or even voice call do?
Only absolutely necessary participants should attend - you might need to take your own notes!
Don't share pens, stationery, pass handouts around etc - think minimising contamination risk points.
Don't crowd the conference table! Some conference tables are big enough that distancing is easy - just pay attention to the way people enter and leave the room and make sure chairs are well-spaced (and not moved). Even better, can you meet outside?
Agenda item number 1 - wash your hands before and after the meeting
Don't provide tea and biscuits - we know they are what keep most meetings going, but attendees will have to bring their own for now.
Provide hand sanitiser!
Come back tomorrow, where we'll be talking 3 C's:- Common areas, Customers and Cleaning.
Bucks Biz makes it easier for you to comply with the kind of advice given in this series, by offering flexible licences that allow you to easily upgrade and downgrade your space as and when your business requires it.
We provide office space for rent in Milton Keynes, with units available for all sectors, to suit a wide range of requirements. From small one-person start ups, right up to large spaces fit for 100 people (to be socially distanced!) we have the perfect base for your business.
We are more than just space to rent too. We are a community of businesses all eager to help each other. Throughout the pandemic, we have supported our residents to secure funding where it has been available and in adhering to social distancing and safe working practices, throughout our centres.