Australia has weathered the COVID-19 storm with what seems like relative ease, and although we are all still working from home, we can, with tentative optimism, start to consider what the future might look like back in our workplaces.
Without a vaccine or a cure, taking adequate precautions to support and care for your team, tenants and clients will be of paramount importance. As we reassess our way of life, safety will be the number one consideration for offices and buildings as people begin to return to work.
Distancing and strict hygiene practices will be among the essential changes required in the 2020 workplace, so we’ve created a simple five-step guide to help you protect your team and business against COVID-19.
1) 1.5 Metre Distance Rule
You will need to be prepared to ensure a 1.5 metre distance between people at all times. This rule does not just apply to common areas, lobbies, and lifts, but should extend as far as regulating how close team members are sat next to each other in meetings and day to day business. Open plan desk structures will need to be prepared to allow for adequate physical distancing. You may also need to consider reconfiguring power and data to accommodate for this new regime.
2) Hand Sanitiser Stations
It will become a new standard to have hand sanitiser dispensers in every office and high traffic areas throughout your building, such as foyers, lifts, and lobbies.
It will be essential to begin implementing this before staff come back into the office, and work returns back to a sense of normality.
3) Mandatory Cleaning Regimes
Strict cleaning standards within the office will be imperative post COVID-19, to ensure we minimize the risk of the virus making a comeback. Communal surfaces will need to be cleaned with antibacterial cleaners throughout the day, and bins emptied each night at a minimum.
4) Clear Signage
Friendly reminders to staff and tenants to continue to keep their physical distance from one another will be valuable to reinforce the rules of physically distancing. Remember that the idea of avoiding each other is an extremely foreign behavior and will take some getting used to, so placing fun and friendly prompts for people to protect themselves and one another is vital.
5) New-era Meetings
Companies who haven’t yet implemented this technology should take this opportunity to create new meeting rooms with virtual capabilities so that they can host online meetings anytime, anywhere. Encouraging virtual meetings with clients, staff, and suppliers will be a trend we’ll see carried well into the future, even post COVID-19, so ensure your business has space with all functions to support this as well as working from home accessibility.
Together, let’s continue to flatten the curve, and be ready to protect our teams and tenants on our return to work!