In this time of pandemic, many of us have been lucky enough to keep working from home and maintain an income. But businesses and workplaces can’t stay closed forever. Some of us may need to return to the office soon after the quarantine.
We can’t blame you though if you’re still wary of going back to your place of work. An office building is a prime spot for virus transmission since many people, from different areas, congregate in it. People will converse with you, ride with you in the van, touch surfaces you may also touch, sneeze without warning.
That’s not to say there’s no safe and cautious way to return to the workplace. There are ways to lessen your risk. If you’ve received the return-to-work memo, here are a few things to consider before packing up your laptop and heading to headquarters:
1. Check your health condition—
and your loved ones, too.
Do you have any of the symptoms? Whether or not you have been tested, if you display any of the symptoms for COVID-19, it’s best not to go to work for at least 14 days from the first sign of the symptom. Once you do return, make sure you wear a mask and carry a sanitizer wherever you go—for your safety and others’.
Check, too, if you’ve interacted with anyone who has had symptoms. If you did, self-isolate for the prescribed amount of time. You don’t want to be the office super spreader, do you!?
2. Talk to your boss.
Ask your employer for a solid return-to-work plan and do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions. This is your safety we’re talking about. You can ask about the staggered work shifts, the office space setup, even mental health support. Ask and you shall receive!
3. Follow the protocols.
Now is not the time to rebel. Keep in mind all rules and regulations set up so you don’t inconvenience others and put them at risk.
Secure the required permits, especially if your area or the area where your workplace is located requires them.
Once at the office, follow the safety protocols. This may include a thorough health check, disinfection procedure, a new time schedule, etc.
4. Rethink commuting to work.
If you commute to work, consider other modes of transportation such as biking so you’re commuting solo. If that’s not an option, make sure to practice social distancing in your public transportation of choice. Wear mask and shield.
Make sure to not touch your face (that includes your eyes, nose, and mouth) and your phone for the duration of your travel. If you absolutely have to touch your stuff, disinfect before and after using it just to be on the safe side.
5. Practice social distancing even inside the office
You may be missing your co-workers but don’t shake hands, hug, or touch in any way, just yet. Always wear a mask even when inside the building as courtesy. Wear mask when you are talking.
No sharing and no eating in the cafeteria—your own desk will have to do for now. Consider taking your own packed lunch so that you know where your food comes from.