After many weeks of restrictions, lockdown measures have been relaxed across England. This now means that there are a number of things individuals can do that they could not do before, including spending more time outdoors and meeting up with one other person from a different household. Although, Wales and Scotland continue to “stay at home”.
For UK employers and business owners the restrictions are still widespread. The majority of offices, contact centres and non-essential retail remain closed and employers are encouraged to support staff working from home.
However, there are plans to reopen businesses in a phased approach, if it is safe to do so, and when this happens it’s crucial that you’re prepared. That’s why we’ve put together this simple guide to help manage your phased return to work and ensure your staff remain protected during COVID-19.
As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to protect your employees, and others, from risk to their health and safety. The minimum you must do is:
- Identify what work activity or situations might cause injury or illness (hazards)
- Decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed (the risk)
- Take precaution to eliminate or, if this isn’t possible, reduce the ris
In the context of coronavirus, this means carrying out a COVID-19 risk assessment to inform your decisions and control safety measures as well as sharing the results with your staff.
Deep cleaning is recommended to prevent transmission and ensure sites are ready to restart. It is also acceptable to have your building fogged to ensure a safe and sanitised environment.
Afterwhich, you should continue to regularly:
- Clean work areas and equipment
- Disinfect objects and surfaces
- Clear workspaces and remove waste
As the lockdown finally lifts and more and more staff begin to return to work, it is crucial that you consider your office layout and workspace design. This is because certain floor plans are associated with greater risk and the new normal involves strict social distancing measures.
To ensure your offices are covid-secure we recommend:
- Putting up signs to remind workers or visitors of social distancing guidance.
- Using floor tape to mark out 2m areas to help staff maintain distance.
- Using office screens or barriers to separate staff from each other.
You should also think about:
- Identifying team members who are still able to continue working from home, to limit the number of people in your office at any one time.
- Staggering arrival and departure times to reduce the flow of traffic during peak office hours.
- Limiting the number of people who are able to use the lift.
As you explore the interior solutions available to support social distancing in offices, retail premises or laboratories we’re here to help and offer support.
Whether that’s by completely re-arranging your office floor plan or installing one of our glass, acrylic or perspex office screens.
Available in a selection of colours to suit your office design, screens are a great way to organise work areas and protect staff during COVID-19.
Whether on a small reception desk or between two height adjustable desks, these partitions are a quick, yet effective way to prevent the spread of germs.
They can be custom built to meet your requirements and offer protection from coughing and sneezing. They are also easy to clean and disinfected regularly.
For more information and guidance on working safely during coronavirus pandemic, be sure to read the government’s latest advice.