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Workplaces, schools and businesses are continuing to respond to the changing world which COVID-19 has created, and even though restrictions are starting to ease, it is super important that we know how to safely implement social distancing. That’s why we’ve listed a few ways that you can establish social distancing in your life. So, here are our social distancing tips for the office. Please keep in mind that social distancing guidelines are based on a 6-foot separation of individuals, but physical barriers are also important.
Social Distancing – Safety Tips for When The Shelter In Place Ends
1. No Handshakes
A common form of social etiquette, especially when in the office, is greeting people with a handshake. As important as handshakes are, the need for our personal safety overrules everything. So whether you’re at work and it’s your boss congratulating you on your recent project, or your personal trainer wants to give you a high five for that training session, it’s best to avoid physical contact. Instead, you can ask to elbow bump instead. However, if you find yourself unable to avoid physical contact, be sure to have hand sanitizer on you and use it daily.
2. Make Space
When returning to work or school, ensure that your workstation is 6-feet away from your colleagues or classmates. Ask your boss or teacher if you can put up reminders about the 6-feet rule around the office or classroom. Especially, in areas where everyone works and congregates.
3. Meet Remotely, Even Onsite
If you’re at work and it comes time for a team meeting, ask to use the same tools remote employees use to meet. If your workplace have the technology to log into online meetings, utilize apps such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToWebinar, GoToMeeting, and Skype for Business to practice social distancing at work. You can sit individually at your workstation, have separate meeting rooms, or outside to stay socially distanced whilst collaborating. Anid if you’re up for it, you can also have a virtual happy hour with coworkers.
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4. Different Schedules
Encourage your workplace to try flexible work hours and staggered or rotational shifts so that fewer people are in the office at one time, yet the work still gets accomplished. Your work should be taking the time between shifts to sanitize workstations and communal areas, however if you’re still concerned about germs, pick up some of these sanitized wipes and hand sanitizers to carry around with you at the office.
5. Redesign Workstations
Ask your workplace to, where possible, create partitions between coworkers. Things like raising cubicle walls and adding plexiglass dividers in common areas such as the break room. This allows people to still sit and eat together, 6-feet apart of course, and interact safely. If you work in a more open-space area, such as a manufacturing or warehousing facility. Ask for your workplace to mark 6-foot positions with brightly colored duct tape. This ensures employees always have a sense of a safe distance to maintain from each other.
Or, if your job allows you to work from home, ask to work from home! Working at home is the safest place as you reduce the amount of exposure to people. However, it can be difficult with kids, so be sure to check out these tips on how to stay productive with kids at home.
6. Have Fun!
Social distancing at the office doesn’t have to be boring. Encourage bonding with your coworkers while social distancing with fun ideas such as organizing a trivia night (over conference call). Create a fun trivia that everyone can participate in on a conference call. You can conduct polls on chat rooms that allow everyone to participate and see the answers in real time. This is a great engaging and interactive activity for team building.
We understand that even when practicing safe social distancing measures, you may still be worried about germs and transmission. If this is the case, check out stores like Fabric or Joann’s for protective gear like face masks that you can wear at work, on public transport, at the grocery store, everywhere! We wouldn’t recommend wearing gloves unless you’re going to discard and replace them very regularly. Instead, we would recommend using hand sanitizer and washing your hands more frequently.
We hope you enjoyed this article on social distancing in the office and that our safety tips prove useful to you.
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