Getting back to normal commutes and back to the office is slowly happening but the dangers of the pandemic must not be forgotten. Major changes are taking place in the workplace. For example, daily temperature checks and health questionnaires. However it is still crucially important that we all maintain social distancing where we can as well as keeping to sensible hygiene routines.
If a single surface is compromised in an office, the virus can infect most of a workplace in a matter of hours. Employers should be doing everything they can to ensure the safety of their staff but it is still wise to do what you can to look after your personal safety.
Toilets, lifts and communal kitchens should all be treated with caution.
Wearing a mask in toilet areas is essential. Infectious aerosols can be created by flushing toilets. The particles can travel an estimated 1 metre from the toilet if it is flushed without the lid being closed and are believed to be just as infectious as other modes of viral transmission.. Close the lid and wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet facilities. It’s not just about what you touch in a toilet.
Lift buttons can be touched by thousands of people every day. It’s so easy to forget the threat this can pose. As we enter the winter season, wearing gloves in the cold weather can actually assist with the prevention of contamination however if this isn’t the case, hands should be sanitised before and after touching any communal buttons. Try to remember what you are touching in your workplace. There are new hands-free innovations available (such as hands-free button-pushing devices) but these are not everywhere.
Kitchen or Vending areas are no longer social areas to chat. Some personal responsibility for anti-bacterial wiping of appliances after use is advisable.
Transmission of the virus is more likely to occur when indoors, especially in confined spaces such as lifts. There should be a clear limit to the number of people allowed in small spaces and masks should always be worn when not eating and drinking.
Be safe, be careful and be sensible. Follow government guidelines and do everything you can to keep yourself and others safe. Wash your hands, avoid public transport if at all possible and keep your distance from other people and if you have serious concerns about returning to the office, make sure you voice them to your manager.