Hybrid workspaces have quickly become the norm in the post-pandemic world. But this added flexibility brings a whole new set of health and hygiene challenges with it. As an employer or facility manager, the responsibility to keep your employees safe and secure rests on your shoulders. Here are 7 essential ways to create a healthier hybrid workplace for your employees:
Reconfigure workstations and schedules
When looking to reopen your workspace, limiting occupancy and maximizing the physical distance between employees should be a primary goal. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to stagger work schedules. You can do this by splitting work hours between shifts of small teams so that fewer people use the space at the same time. Employers must also take measures to implement social distancing for employees who will be sharing the workspace. Solid physical barriers such as shields, decals, and dividers are excellent ways to limit transmission.
Implement thorough screening protocols
All employees, visitors, and support staff who enter the workspace could be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and/or exposure. Screening protocols may range from temperature checks to questionnaire-based self-screening measures. Employers can also implement specific guidelines for previously exposed or recovered employees returning to work. Keep in mind that those infected with COVID-19 may or may not show symptoms of infection. As such, on-site monitoring and screening programs need to be used in conjunction with other health and safety measures.
Promote good respiratory hygiene and hand-washing
Provide workers with free masks and hand-washing stations to lower the odds of transmission. Employers should deliver basic hand-washing supplies such as sinks, soaps, hand dryers, paper towels, and sanitizers. You could also be able to offer masks free of cost to any worker who asks for them. These simple provisions, together with frequent communications about the importance of these measures, can go a long way towards keeping the workplace safe and healthy.
Clean and disinfect consistently
Routine cleaning and disinfection are absolutely crucial for protecting workers from all sorts of infections. Without proper decontamination, high-touch surfaces like door handles, light switches, and handrails can quickly become a breeding ground for germs. To ensure that your workspace is thoroughly cleaned, you must use a disinfectant product that has a Drug Identification Number (DIN) and a virucidal claim. Remember to read the product label carefully to verify if it can truly kill germs without damaging surfaces.
This is where hiring professional janitorial services can play a critical role. Pegasus delivers industry-leading cleaning programs so that you don't have to worry about the fine print on your cleaning products. Our expert quality control personnel develop customized cleaning protocols that enable you to reopen your workspace without safety or hygiene concerns.
Develop and communicate your response plan
To really make employees feel safe and secure at work, create a detailed response plan to deal with any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. A large-scale survey from Wakefield Research found that 61% want their employers to enforce strict health and safety regulations in the workplace. Although these findings are not too surprising, they highlight the importance of communicating workplace policies and procedures implemented in response to the pandemic. Ideally, you should also have clear safety protocols in place for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers.
Improve contact-tracing and security measures
In addition to screening employees on entry, you also need to maintain occupancy information. Keep detailed records of the employees occupying different spaces at any given time. These may be online or offline records about the employees' vaccination status, previous exposure, and day-to-day health conditions. If the workers tend to share or switch between desks, make sure that the workstation is thoroughly cleaned after each move. You may also enforce strict policies that prohibit anyone with even mild infection symptoms from staying in the office.
Plan routine deep cleaning sessions
In the long run, maintaining a safe and healthy workspace takes a lot more than regular cleaning. Utilize the holiday breaks or long weekends to schedule extensive deep cleaning sessions. While no cleaning system is perfect, deep cleaning and decontamination come pretty close. This comprehensive cleaning program uses specialized tools and stronger chemicals to go above and beyond general cleaning in the workplace.
Pegasus offers complete deep cleaning solutions with cutting-edge decontamination tools and techniques. We specialize in creating clean, healthy, and safe indoor environments for commercial, industrial, and manufacturing facilities. Pegasus also delivers state-of-the-art disinfection strategies for critical environments like cleanrooms, data centers, and compounding pharmacies. Our Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) decontamination process is one of the most efficient and effective ways to eliminate viruses, bacteria, fungus, and other microbes from any workspace. The aerosolized H2O2 particles reach every nook and cranny and are able to target pathogens on a molecular level.