Going back to work after Covid-19 can be quite scary. We have all been living in the relative safety of our homes. At home we have been able to live without fear of what we touch while we have been in lockdown.
But going back to work changes things dramatically. Not only do we have to interact more closely with our colleagues and customers, we also need to deal with the potentially unseen dangers on files, papers and common areas.
We have already dealt with travelling to work (READ IT HERE). Another previous post describes how Covid-19 is spread (READ IT HERE). And we also covered how and why washing our hands helps (READ IT HERE). But very few people have a private bathroom at work where they can continually wash their hands…
So how do the rest of us protect ourselves when we go back to work?
The dynamics of a working environment make going back to work post Covid-19 a risk. There is no getting around this fact, but that does not mean we cannot substantially reduce the risk by following a few simple guidelines.
Your employer will implement general social distancing and other safety aspects so we do not need to cover them here. We will rather focus on some less conventional precautions.
Taking extra precautions when going back to work after Covid-19
When you get to work, if you cannot leave your personal belongings in your car, ensure you put them in a place they cannot be touched or exposed to any droplets from others coughing or sneezing. If you feel the need to put them in a plastic bag, that will work too. Just make sure the plastic bag stays at work. Taking it home spreads the risk of contamination to your home and family.
Use a surface sanitiser (CLICK HERE
) to spray your chair, desk and other contact areas in your office. Use paper kitchen towels to spray the surface sanitiser on so you can use it to clean your mouse, keyboard, telephone, calculator and other devices.
If your work provides clear Perspex divisions, make sure you correctly utilize this tool. Ensure you place the division in front of where people mostly speak to you – generally directly opposite where you sit. If you do not have a division, ensure you have clearly marked areas in line with social distancing requirements.
Have an in-tray where your colleagues and customers can place any files/documents/items to avoid possible contamination of your desk. If possible use gloves and always ensure you sanitise your hands after dealing with any of the items.
Limit contamination points
Have an easy to sanitise working area on your desk for dealing with these items. If you have a large calendar pad for your desk, they normally come with a plastic backing. Remove the calendar part and use the easy to sanitise plastic backing to place these items on when you are working with them.
Do not be tempted to lean your arms on this working area/pad. If you find you do this, push it further away from you so you lean on your desk instead.
After you have dealt with an item sanitise your hands and your pad/working area before dealing with the next item.
Ensure you keep your personal belongings off your working area/pad to prevent their possible contamination. Always sanitise your hands before touching anything personal after dealing with something in your working area.
By doing this, you will limit potential exposure and will be keeping you, your work and home area safe.