The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working. Organisations, whatever the size and nature of their business, have to re-imagine their role in creating a safe, productive, and enjoyable environment for people when they get back to work after Covid.
Here are some steps organisations can take to create a safe and effective work environment post-Covid. Business centers in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Fort, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai are scrupulous about adhering to these measures.
*Plan a step-wise return. Limit the numbers of people returning to work
*Ensure the 6-foot rule between desks. If this is not strictly enforceable, follow the example of business centers in Delhi and create impervious barriers between people. These could be mobile drawers or storage units. Avoid potted plants or trolleys as partitions as that could lead to accidental tripping
*Re-schedule meal breaks to reduce the number of people sharing a cafeteria or lunchroom. Serviced offices in Andheri have drawn up schedules for personnel taking mealtime or other breaks. This has lessened the people traffic in these shared areas and helped reduce the risk of infection.
*Organise shifts for cleaning and sanitising crews. This must be undertaken at intervals throughout the day. Office spaces in Bangalore are kept spotlessly clean and germ-free, with cleaning crews working on a rotation basis.
* Ensure that counters, door handles, and often-touched surfaces are frequently wiped
* Make sure there are facilities to wash hands at convenient places across the office
*Place hand sanitisers on all desks
*Train employees in the correct use of PPE, face masks, and gloves. One cannot be too vigilant about this. Business centers in Fort, Mumbai, have regular training sessions, especially for newcomers to the center.
*Organise extra shifts for cleaning and sanitisation of toilets. Place a sign on the main door to indicate when a toilet is in use to avoid the proximity of persons near toilets. This procedure is followed by all business centers in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai. Hygiene is given top priority.
*Eliminate close contact between people for more than 15 minutes. Shared office spaces like those in Navi Mumbai have adapted their business practices to bring one-on-one interactions to the very minimum.
*Ensure use of surgical face masks in enclosed shared spaces such as meeting rooms as well as cars and vans
*Put up posters around the office on coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand hygiene
*Avoid excessive workload on cleaning staff. Ask people to leave their workspaces tidy. Make sure there are tissue boxes and plastic-lined waste bins near desks. Volunteer ‘marshals’ from among the staff in business centers in Chennai, ensure that a high level of cleanliness and tidiness is maintained across the day.
*Encourage people to stay home at any sign of sickness. Make sure they are given sick leave if such signs occur
*Prepare a temporary sick room for anyone feeling sick at work. Make sure medical help can be provided quickly