As restrictions ease across the UK, many of us will be returning to the office for work. Your organisation may even be planning your return at this moment. We’ve all become accustomed to working from home, and the transition back to the office may be difficult for some. Here are a few tips on how you can make the return to the office as pleasant as possible for your colleagues.
Before you Leave the House
Take the moment between waking up and having breakfast to take a Healgen rapid antigen test, and allow the results to develop while you are getting ready. This will help put your mind at ease if you test negative, and keep your colleagues safe.
If you do not have time to take a coronavirus test, consider using a thermometer to check your temperature before leaving the house, as a high fever can be a symptom of coronavirus infection.
If you develop other symptoms, such as a sore throat or cough, then make sure to take a lateral flow test to make sure you are not infected. Order your test kit here.
Stay Safe on Your Commute
The commute to work being a daily part of your routine may seem quite alien now, but it is important to remain safe on this part of the journey, as it is the most likely point that you will become infected. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to work, as services may be reduced due to coronavirus restrictions. It will also allow you to socially distance on a quieter train or bus if it is busy.
Make sure you bring hand sanitiser with you and use it between public transport services, especially if you have to make changes on your journey. Always wear a face mask in enclosed spaces, and try to keep your distance from others.
Keep the Office Safe
Try to maintain social distancing indoors once you reach the office, only leaving your desk when it is absolutely necessary. Take a picnic to work and plenty of water, so you can take lunch at your desk if needed. Bring your own coffee cup to get some caffeine for yourself from the office coffee machine. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but it will mean you don’t have to touch any surfaces unnecessarily!
If the weather’s nice, try to find a secluded spot outside to take lunch and get some fresh air. Avoid shops and cafes with large queues, as it may be difficult to socially distance from others.
Keep your office well-ventilated by keeping doors and windows open at all times. This allows the air inside the building to regularly be recycled, which reduces the chance of spreading coronavirus droplets through the air. To add a nice touch to it, you could use an air freshener in your cubicle or cabin to keep the air smelling nice and lively. There are plenty of good ones available on websites like Hyscent (hyscent.com) and others. Having clean and fresh air would not only keep the office safe but also make it a pleasant place to work for everyone. In conjunction with social distancing and wearing a mask, this can be an effective way of protecting yourself and others.
At the end of your day, make sure to wipe down your workstation with antiseptic wipes to kill any virus droplets that may be present. You can also keep your workspace clean by using hand sanitizer constantly throughout the day. In addition, you can hold an office clean-up drive every week with the help of professional COVID cleaners.
Be Mindful of your Colleagues
All of us have had to experience the hardships of the pandemic, but some of us have had a much harder time than others. Be considerate of your colleagues, and give them plenty of time and space to adjust back to the office environment. Some of them may take longer than others to do so.
Remember not to underestimate the threat posed by the coronavirus; it is easy to think that the threat has largely disappeared as cases and deaths drop, however scientists believe it will still be around for years to come. Always stay vigilant, and remember to voice any concerns you may have about safe working practices to your line manager.