In early 2020, due to the incessant spread of COVID-19, many businesses started to have their employees work from home. While it took a while for people to get comfortable with remote work, it quickly became the dominant business model. Some people have enjoyed the flexibility and relaxed style of working while others are counting down the days until they can return to the office safely. With vaccine development underway, a return to normalcy is on the horizon. Unfortunately, due to availability and priority, it will take time for distribution to help combat the spread of COVID-19. However, since many businesses have adapted their facilities based on many guidelines from the CDC and other public health organizations, it is possible to start the shift now. If you’re ready to get back to your normal routine, here are a few ways to make 2021 the year to return to work safely.
Using the Hybrid Model to Return to Work
While COVID-19 isn’t over, 2020 gave us a better understanding on infection, transmission, and essential safety measures. Since there is still ongoing uncertainty, many businesses are trying to slowly ease back into their old ways. While some companies will choose to remain fully remote, others cannot operate without in-house employees. Because of this, many businesses have re-structured their working models—those that can work from home will and those that can’t, will return to onsite positions. This is considered a hybrid work model and will drastically reduce risks of infection.
The hybrid work model allows certain employees to make the decision for themselves. If they can perform their job at home and don’t wish to return to work, that’s fine. If they want to come in, that’s okay too. It’s based on preference and ability to perform. However, for those that choose to return to in-person work, it’s important that they do so safely.
How to Return to Work Safely in 2021
If you’re one of the people that functions better when they separate their work lives from their personal lives, getting out of the house is important. For companies to make sure that this transition occurs as safely as possible, here are a few things to consider.
1. Embrace the Hybrid Model
One of the best parts about the hybrid model is that it drastically reduces the number of onsite employees, which cuts the risk of transmission respectively. While it might not be how you want to do business, try embracing the hybrid model or considering a rotational work schedule. The fewer the people in your facility, the safer your workplace will be.
2. Restructure the Office
Since close proximity can increase transmission, a good way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to social distance from others. In traditional workspaces, especially offices, there isn’t much space from person to person. To increase the safety of working onsite, try restructuring the office. Rearrange furniture so that people can work while socially distancing. This is a free strategy that can greatly reduce workplace risk.
3. Follow Important Safety Procedures
While social distancing is important, it’s not a fool proof plan. Make sure that you supplement office restructures with mandatory mask wearing. To avoid problems due to forgotten masks, provide them onsite to employees entering the building.
4. Encourage Essential Hygiene Practices
While it’d be unproductive to go around and make sure that employees are washing their hands regularly, it’s important to encourage essential hygiene practices that will help everyone stay safe. Add hand sanitizing stations throughout your workplace to remind people to continually wash, and sanitize, over the course of their day.
5. Sanitize Regularly
Even if your employees have perfectly clean hands, you need to make sure that you’re sanitizing regularly—especially high-touch areas. We all unknowingly touch our mouths, eyes, and nose. In workplace settings, employees then proceed to make a call, fax something, or simply carry on with their tasks. Sometimes, it’s a subconscious action that goes completely undetected. To make sanitization easier and to encourage employees to partake in the process, provide easy access to disinfectant wipes in your facility. Ask that your employees sanitize their work area both before and after they’re done with it to avoid cross-contamination between coworkers.
6. Create an Emergency Protocol
A great way to be prepared is to make sure that you’re following essential protocol and using a safety checklist for returning to work. This will give you a big advantage in the fight against COVID-19. Unfortunately, there are no fool-proof plans. Infection can and may still happen. To avoid major disruptions to your workflow, create an emergency protocol or contingency plan. Ensure that every employee knows what to do if there is an outbreak within your facility, what changes are to be made, how long to isolate, and when to get tested. Early detection and action are effective ways to isolate spread after someone has been diagnosed.
7. Ask for Feedback
Creating a safe workplace can take time. To make sure that you’re adapting and upgrading your current situation and environment, ask for employee feedback. Welcome suggestions and try to make sure that all of your employees feel safe and comfortable with working onsite. If they don’t, and they’re able to work from home, allow them that option.
8. Upgrade Your Cleaning Services
Taking the above into consideration, the best way to return to work safely in 2021 is to upgrade your cleaning services. While janitorial cleaning may have been sufficient in the past, it’s no longer applicable. You need to regularly go beyond surface level cleaning in order to maintain a safe environment for you, your employees, and your clients. The best way to do this is to undergo regular professional cleaning through a certified company. This will give you access to industrial-strength cleaners, surgical-grade technology, and unique coronavirus-targeted cleaning.
Bee Line is one of the only cleaning companies in the region that’s certified in infection prevention. Our team is fully trained to target and destroy any and all viruses, including the COVID-19 virus, through our unique surgical-grade misting technology and high-touch cleaning protocol. We’re one of the only cleaning companies in the region to utilize the Kärcher PS 4/7 Bp hospital-grade misting system to make sure that the COVID-19 virus is effectively killed and any COVID positive spaces are successfully neutralized. Our team is specially trained to ensure that every square inch of your space is disinfected without causing harm to your surroundings. Our cleaners are EPA registered, hypo-allergenic, PH balanced, and bleach-free. They kill 99.9% of fungus, mold, mildew, alongside viruses, bacteria, and pathogens. This cleaner is also odor free and low toxic, so you won’t be left dealing with harsh chemical smells or irritants.
To make sure that you continue to keep your site safe, we offer a full year of COVID-19 disinfecting services with monthly medical-grade cleaning and disinfecting. Due to heightened demand, please call Bee Line as soon as possible to schedule cleaning services in a timely manner.
Bee Line also offers upholstery-cleaning services, industrial carpet cleaning services, vacuuming, garbage removal, in addition to regular janitorial services. To make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your employees, family, and community safe, Bee Line always uses quality control, routine management inspections, and continual onsite training for our employees.
If you need to schedule a service call Bee Line at 312-BEE-LINE or message us today to get started on the path to cleanliness!