Preparing your office for a return

Last week, we talked about the importance of ensuring you are fully prepared for your workforce to return to the office (if this is something you’re planning to do when the lockdown ends). Bringing employees back into formal workplaces will likely be approached in phases, so it’s worth ensuring the workplace is prepped for the eventual return of some, if not all staff.

Have you thought about how you’ll ready the building for when lockdown eventually ceases?

Reconfigure your Office

The way in which offices were configured before the pandemic is unlikely to be suitable post COVID-19. Social distancing will likely be a requirement for the foreseeable, so you’ll need to make sure the layout of your office adheres to government guidelines (when they are published!). This may include increasing the physical distance between each workspace and direct foot traffic with markers on the floor. If your office is small, you may wish to consider allowing some workers to continue working remotely, as mentioned in the previous article.,( so the workplace is not too crowded.

HVAC Inspections

Have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems cleaned and ensure all inspections and repairs are complete before you reopen. By doing this before staff start moving back in, it ensures the units are clean and ready, plus there aren’t too many people in the building at one time, limiting the risk of your employees or contractors passing infection.

Enhance Cleaning Procedures

Start by deep cleaning the entire office using government approved cleaning products and ensure PPE is worn at all times. Sanitise all workspaces, doors, switches, computers, keyboards and so on. Maintain enhanced cleaning practices when you start to phase people back into the office, and encourage your employees to disinfect their work areas at the end of every day.

Control Access

Make sure all entry points are clean and secure. Consider fixing a Perspex panel to the front of client facing desks, such as reception and reconfigure waiting areas so chairs are at an appropriate distance. If you can avoid using touchscreens and can allow touchless entry, do this.

While not an exhaustive list, this article should give you some points to consider when we eventually return to our new normal.