Two coworkers giving each other an elbow greeting while wearing masks in their office building.
Healthy Living

COVID-19 and the Workplace: How to Stay Safe

Jul 20 2020

As states reopen after initial COVID-19 shutdowns, some people are slowly making their way back to office buildings. To keep employees as safe as possible, businesses are implementing new operational procedures to help prevent the spread of this virus.

Are you heading back to the workplace after months of working from home? If you are feeling a little anxious, that is completely normal. We’ve got some great tips to help you out during this transition.

Learn your office building’s new guidelines

Depending on local mandates as well as the set-up of the space, the COVID-19 guidelines for office buildings will vary. There is great information for businesses about operating during COVID-19 on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Workplaces should have the following guidelines at a minimum:

  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  • Spacing out workstations throughout the office
  • Having employees wear face masks in public areas

Have as many layers of protection as possible

There are many preventive actions you can take on your own to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the rules listed above, make sure you are:

  • Staying at least six feet away from other coworkers
  • Self-monitoring for any symptoms
  • Washing your hands constantly throughout the day

Consider each of these actions as a layer of protection. The more layers you have, the harder it is for COVID-19 to spread. For the best results, practice all of these preventative actions consistently throughout your day.

Keep the rules top of mind

It might be easy to fall back into old routines when we are with our coworkers again in our familiar office environment. However, it is critical to keep these new rules top of mind.

Even if they cause minor inconveniences in your work day, these rules are important because they are helping keep everyone in your office building safe.

If a hallway is one-way traffic only, don’t go down it the wrong way just because you are running late. If there is a limit to the number of people who can be in the restroom at once, don’t ignore this rule just because you really have to go.

Be extra aware of practicing good coughing and sneezing etiquette to help prevent the spread of germs. Also, find new ways to share computer screens without looking over a coworker’s shoulder at a close distance.

When in the office, always be aware of your actions and how they might affect you or someone else.

Communication is key

Our daily lives and operations will not go back to normal until there is a vaccine for COVID-19. Because this is a marathon and not a sprint, communication is going to be key.

If you are feeling stress and anxiety during this time, be sure to share this with your supervisor. Don’t let these feelings fester and grow stronger. This is especially true if these emotions are being triggered by something work-related.

Notify your supervisor right away if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms. You’ll also need to tell them if you have been in direct contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

If one of your coworkers disregards the rules and it’s making you uncomfortable, discuss this with your supervisor as well. It’s not tattling. This is about keeping everyone in your office safe from COVID-19.

If you have a coworker who seems more concerned than you, remember that they may share a household with someone who is at high risk for severe illness, or they may be at higher risk themselves.

We need everyone to come together and follow workplace guidelines in order to keep businesses up and running. One of the best ways you can protect yourself and others at this time is by being open and honest.

Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.

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1 Comment

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Shayur Maharaj

As somebody going back to the office I found this to be very insightful Thank you.
August 25th, 2020 | 5:21am

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