How do I make my office Covid Secure? We have been asked this question many times over the last few months, in our view the guidance changes over time and we are sure that there will be other recommendations in the future. In particular when vaccines become available there will be different procedures that will need to be followed.
In the short term , the safest situation for staff is to not actually be in the office at all and to work from home. This is not always possible though.
There are layers of protection for staff which we can list later and of course a Covid Risk Assessment should always be made.
Although for some people working from home can work out fine, for many, the social interaction, management and the feeling of working as part of a team is missing. Humans are social animals. Many people look forward to going to work, once you walk away from the home environment and go to an office or work place, the mindset is changed. You can forget about home life for the moment, and if there are stresses and strains at home people can get away from this. The reverse is also true of course.
Practicalities of working from home.
There are practical issues that need to be overcome which are split into more than one area, so you have IT of course, how do you communicate with the office seamlessly, access information, network systems, software and phones? All can be overcome but not as perfect as being in the office.
Office furniture actually is designed to ensure that staff are as comfortable as possible and there are other legal requirements that offices have to stick such as the Visual Display Regulations, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Building Regulations to name but a few.
Working off a laptop in the spare room, sitting on a bed or sofa is not ideal.
For some, where people can work from a separate room, an ‘office’ then working from home practically is possible. Maybe the future is for people to be more part time at home with the advantages of working from home and perhaps going into the office once or twice a week to meet the ‘team’, catch up on training and buy into the culture of the Company. If people do not have the correct office furniture or proper seating the employer could be liable for work place posture issues amongst others.
Practical things that can be done at work
Advice is changing all of the time, social distancing can be quite hard to achieve so you need to look at the physical distances of where people sit and how they work and interact with each other. The first thing is to ensure that the staff follow your company risk assessment and procedures, things like taking responsibility for themselves if they are unwell and not coming into work, getting tested etc.
Cre8tive Interiors can provide:
- Sneeze screens to fit onto desk top screens, either in acrylic or glass.
- Partition screens, so full height glass walls.
- Reception desk screens, made to measure.
- UVC lamps to fit inside fresh air air handling units which kills 99.99% of all bacteria.
- An examination of the office design, perhaps a redesign creating more break out areas, providing more space for staff, creating a more open environment as some staff may be working from home.
How can Cre8tive Interiors help
The best thing to do if you are not sure what to do is to pick up the phone or email and we will see whether we can help.