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How should you prepare for your (safe) return to the office?


The government has predicted that there may be several, or possibly seasonal resurgences of Covid-19 for years to come, and this means we will all have to get used to better hygiene practices in every area of our lives. Including how we operate in the workplace.

Whilst many of us may have gotten used to working from home, some are back in the office or are facing the issue of how to re-enter the workplacesafely either for the whole week of just a few days. Whilst your employer is responsible for making sure that there are adequate health and safety features like hand sanitizing stations and deep-cleaning protocols, there are also a few things you as an employee can do to reduce the risk of infection that will be useful in reducing the spread of infection for years to come.

A couple of things to invest in:

Your employer should provide hand sanitizing stations and accessible disinfectant wipes, but it is also a good idea to invest in some portable or travel-sized cleaning and safety equipment such as:

  • Hand sanitizer for use after touching high-use objects like kettles, lift buttons, door handles, etc.

  • Several masks cleaned on a regular basis

  • Tissues or wet wipes to catch any sneezes, coughs or running noses

Simple safety tips for being in the office:

Finance and accounting departments are set up differently in every company, some are open plan, some have cubicles, and some are divided into individual offices. Open plan offices offer the highest risk of spreading the viruses, but there are also risks present in all highly-used areas of the office. Some points to be aware of include:

  • In-person meetings between more than three people could affect social distancing

  • If you feel unwell you should not come into the office

  • Try to avoid overcrowding in communal areas like restrooms or break rooms

  • Wash your hands regularly

  • Try not to eat your lunch at your desk or in crowded break rooms; instead try and eat outside the building

  • Remember to clean office equipment like computer mice, phones, laptops or desktop keyboards

  • When you have to interact with a colleague closely remember to wear your mask and try not to touch your face

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and having these extra safety measures in place may have an impact on your mental wellbeing or anxiety levels. Be sure to try and find ways to continue to enjoy the workspace with social interactions (conducted from a safe distance via chat functions like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype Business etc.), or speak to HR.

Safety tips when applying for jobs:

The world has changed dramatically in favour of remote technology that reduces physical human meetings, so when applying for a job you may have the option to interview remotely and safely. However, some potential employers may want to have a face-to-face interview which will present similar safety issues to those presented by your own office.

Employing the same safety protocols outlined above whilst you’re in a new and unfamiliar office building is equally important. 

Edward Mann can assist you in finding the right career for you to use your skills to the best of your abilities. Our vacancies are specially picked so you can find a role where you can fully utilise your abilities and plan for personal growth to ensure a bright future. We can help you perfect your interview skills too, be they in person or done remotely!

Get in touch today to find out how we can help

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