Now that restrictions are finally starting to ease in the United Kingdom, businesses are considering returning to the office. Of course, the pandemic is still very much a thing, with coronavirus cases being prevalent throughout the country. As a result, if business owners want to return to the office, they will need to put measures in place to protect their employees. Otherwise, if an outbreak were to happen, then a countless amount of people could be affected. Managers may even be charged with criminal negligence. So, the importance of making your workplace safe during the pandemic cannot be understated. These are some preventive measures that you should definitely put into place: 

Regular Cleaning

One of the most effective ways to stop the spread of illnesses – not just coronavirus – is to ensure that everything is regularly cleaned in the office. This is especially true for organizations that require their employees to hot desk or share facilities, like kitchens and bathrooms. There are plenty of companies that offer commercial and industrial cleaning services which also specialise in killing coronavirus, such as SMC Premier. To prepare your workplace for the return of your employees, we suggest investing in these services and ensuring a high standard of hygiene is maintained.

Social Distancing

Before asking employees to return to the office, make sure that there is sufficient space for social distancing. Desks must be several metres apart and employees should keep as much space between them as feasible. As well as this, managers need to actually enforce social distancing. People tend to have quite a laissez-faire attitude towards this regulation, often breaching it, despite its proven benefits. As a business leader, you need to protect your employees, whether they are putting others or themselves at risk. If something were to happen, then you would be the one who is held accountable.

Proper Ventilation

Coronavirus is predominately transferred through airborne droplets that are released when we speak, breathe, cough, laugh, or sneeze. To effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19 among members of staff, you need to ensure that there is proper ventilation in the office. This goes beyond simply putting the air conditioning on. Windows should be left open at all times. If your workplace doesn’t have any windows, then you should seriously reconsider asking your employees to return.

Work Rotas

Finally, it is worth devising a work rota. Bringing all your employees back at once is a recipe for disaster. Instead, plan ahead. Request that certain people come in on specific days of the week. This prevents your office from being over capacity, plus helps to keep things organised. When creating the rota, you should try to keep the same people working on the same day. The fewer households that mix, the better. Also, make sure that there is enough room (when accounting for social distancing) for all the people you have invited in on each day.

Directors must have an understanding of the role safety performance plays in the performance of their business. In accepting corporate responsibility for health and safety, directors need to be proactive in developing a positive safety culture for their workplace. In the long-term this leads to an internal cultural shift that can have an indirect impact on external brand affinity and brand loyalty.” according to David Rowland, Head of Marketing at EcoOnline.

Follow this advice and you should be able to keep your employees safe as they work in the office during the pandemic.