The first thing that you need to do to keep yourself safe at home and at work is to take the pandemic seriously. Staying safe is about being smart, proactive, and responsible. No matter where you are or what situation you’re in, you are responsible for making sure that you stay healthy. Don’t let the behavior of others influence you into acting carelessly. With this being said, here are ten of the best ways to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 at work.
Disinfect surfaces around your office and workplace
Don’t forget that the coronavirus can be transferred from person to surface. Even if your company is cleaning and making sure that the workplace is safe, do your due diligence and clean all your commonly used areas often. COVID-19 is a virus that is contained in a water molecule, making it vitally important for you to clean the immediate area around you. This includes door handles, window ledges, walls commonly leaned on, desks, and other work areas. Sneezing, coughing, and unknowingly carrying the virus by touch can leave an area contaminated, so rather stay safe.
Wash your hands
Good personal hygiene should include washing your hands regularly for at least twenty seconds. Alternatively, sanitize with a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Even though your hands are going to remain considerably cleaner from frequent washing, don’t touch your face or mouth. Surface contact, in general, should be kept to a minimum, and use your own discretion and good judgment to decide when your hands may need a clean. If you’ve stepped from a public place or another department of the company back to your office or workshop, you need to wash your hands. If you’ve touched something from someone else, wash your hands. Before eating, wash your hands, and before touching your mask make sure they’re squeaky clean.
Maintain social distance
The general recommendation, according to the World Health Organization, is to maintain 6-feet of social distance, which equates to roughly two-arms length. Maintaining social distance is each of our own responsibility when out in public and in the workplace. Do what you must to make sure that you don’t keep close proximity to people around you, sustaining your personal space in order to stay safe. Maintaining social distance also means that you mustn’t go around touching everyone and everything. Greetings don’t require contact such as “elbow bumping” or any other form of touch in an attempt to replace a handshake. Don’t head to the busy communal area such as a workshop, copy room, or any busy corridor unless you really have to. Technology is your friend. Communicate.
If you’re not at home, wear a mask
If you are outside of your home, anywhere, wear your mask. While it is quite normal for one to need to remove your facial protection once or twice throughout the day, keep this to a minimum and make sure that you only remove your mask in a completely clean area and with clean hands. Place it on a clean, sanitized surface or within a container purposed specifically for a mask. Anywhere that you’re in contact with people that aren’t family or friends that you live with, requires a mask.
Stagger arrivals and departure
If your company isn’t staggering arrivals and departures to and from work to reduce congestion in frequently accessed areas, then make a point of getting it implemented. At the very least, stagger your own arrival and departure from to and from work. The same goes for lunch in public meeting areas. Don’t conglomerate with others unless the collaboration is completely necessary and unavoidable.
Leave office doors propped open
If you’ve got an office and it has a door, leave it open. Do your best to prop commonly accessed doors open. Likewise for closets and other storage areas. If it doesn’t need to be under lock and key, then rather let one person open up and leave it that way until closing. You want to minimize the number of times you have to touch any surface or object that another does.
Cough and sneeze responsibly
Sneezing fits are going to get you thrown out of the room if you’re in the wrong company. As we’ve mentioned earlier, personal accountability is imperative during this time. Make sure that you’re coughing and sneezing into a tissue or, at the very least, your bent elbow (washing or sanitizing soon after). If you do cough onto your hand out of habit, then wash up with soap or alcohol sanitizer immediately. It’s far healthier for everyone if you try to isolate for a while whenever you’re struggling with a tickle in your chest or sinus problems. Just keep your distance.
Don’t share items or food
If you’re in a situation where tools and office supplies are shared, it is time to invest in your own whenever possible. While sharing is normally an act of caring, during the COVID-19 pandemic, you could be unknowingly giving someone a virus. Keep your meals, snacks, and drinks to yourself. If you are a smoker, refrain from sharing cigarettes, vapes, and pipes. Personal hygiene needs to be kept personal in every sense of the word, so try your best to make sure that the objects you handle at work are only touched by you. Sometimes this may take spending some of your own cash, but it’s worth it – rather be as safe as possible.
Running a temperature, stay home?
While many companies have employed temporal thermal scanners to read your body temperature if you aren’t being checked before entering your premises, then pay close attention to how you are feeling. If any form of fever arises, then call in sick. Many of us press on ignoring any slight health issues such as persistent headaches, a slightly sore throat, or some sniffles, but you’re doing no one any favors by exposing them during this period. Rather wait until the, most likely minor unrelated infection to COVID-19, passes, and then return to work.
#STAYHOME If you can
The best way to stay safe at work is to work from home. This obviously isn’t feasible for everyone, but if you have the opportunity to get the job done by circumventing the office, then speak up! We all need to work together during this time to find solutions to common problems. Remote work is essential to minimizing the economic impact of COVID-19. Consider your personal risks and collaborate with management to restructure the way that you work. Not everyone will be able to out-right work from home, but almost everyone instantly has ideas of how they can lower the risk for their own position in the company.
Stay keenly aware of opportunities
With unemployment rising, hours cut, and conventional opportunities slowing, it’s important to stay optimistic and open-minded. Remote work has skyrocketed to a point where it’s no longer optional but integral to all types of work and workers. Companies need to begin looking toward ways to not only let people work together safer, but empower employees to work independently. As we work together through this global crisis, we are learning to be more hygienic, healthier than ever, and more technologically enabled, but with this comes all-new responsibilities that we’ll not only adapt to but learn to harness & thrive through in time. MyOpportunity encourages you to stay hopeful, adaptive, and always eagerly awaiting the new. How do you stay safe at work? Share your tips with us – one word of advice can make all the difference.