Preparing for a Return of Office Workers
Let’s face it, life isn’t the same as it was pre-COVID, and is unlikely to ever get back to what we considered to be normal. Normal is now socially distanced and working from home where we can, but that isn’t always possible and so we have to prepare for some workers to return.
If you run a shop-based business you need to have staff in to run it for you, and even if you have an on-line business, you probably still need staff to run things behind the scenes. Office environments are usually easier to run remotely, but it isn’t always possible to have your entire staff at home, and there are psychological issues too. People working on their own quickly end up feeling isolated, and just seeing familiar faces on video calls rarely does much to alleviate that. Humans are sociable animals and undoubtedly, work is an environment where they are able to mix. You owe it to the mental health of your employees to start bringing them back into the office, but how do you achieve that and maintain their safety too?
As you have no doubt seen in shops, bars, restaurants and other public areas, there is a huge effort designed to get people back into these areas in as large numbers and as safely as possible. That means keeping people apart by either designated area signage, or physical barriers such as COVID screens to ensure that the virus cannot pass between people in a relatively close environment. Let’s look at both of those cases.
Signage. We are seeing and increasing amount of this kind of sing in public places such as shops, supermarkets and banks. Available as either floor spots that identify ideal places to stand, or strips that enforce social distancing, these kinds of signs help people establish what two metres actually looks like. If you give people a choice, they are apt to clutter together and that is how a virus can spread easily. However, if you give them explicit instruction s as to where to stand in relation to each other, they will follow it, and cut down the risk. Of course, you just need to ensure that the floor signage is actually the right distance apart, so make sure that you measure it.
Signage can also be used to instigate one way” systems that ensure that people are all facing the same way rather than continually approaching each other in a two-way area. This makes the office a much safer environment and one that workers are happy to return to.
Screens. It makes sense that a physical barrier is going to be effective against the spread of an airborne virus, so the sudden use of Perspex and other clear plastic screens has become something that we are now used to. Clear screens with either small letterbox “cut-outs” at the bottom or even completely sealed are sufficiently safe to allow people to get closer than the prescribed two metres, and can make life in the office a lot more normal than by using standard distancing measures.
Xsign now offers a range of floor or wall mounted signs and clear plastic shields that can help you get your office space ready for the return of your employees. Come and chat to use about your office needs.