Preparing for the Return to Work: How to Maintain Social Distance

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As we prepare to return to work, it is essential to note that you must observe social distancing to take care of your health properly. Governmental agencies like the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) rightly insist that companies stick to social distancing measures. Most firms follow guidelines set by relevant authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Companies are adopting a number of best practices: 


Wearing Wearables At Work

The wearable type of smart devices has played an extremely critical role in ensuring that social distancing guidelines are getting followed by companies. Companies have come out with different wearable products that help firms enforce CDC guidelines for maintaining a six-foot distance between employees. The bulk of such devices work by warning wearers whenever there is a violation of the six-foot (or any other number) distance rule. In this context,  these wearables can protect your staff by preventing them from getting too close. It serves to prevent the virus from spreading. Additionally, they come in a large number of convenient forms like rings and bracelets.

Assert And Observe Social Distancing Rules

Professional relations are vital to ensuring a healthy, easy, and fun life at your workplace. But your well-being, especially in terms of your physical health, is one thing that you must ensure. Many people lack the courage to assert the former in fear of spoiling pleasant workplace relations. Still, you mustn’t do the same. You need to ensure that you maintain a healthy distance with people who are not wearing masks or the people who get too close for COVID-19 comfort. However, while you should indeed assert yourself, you need to ensure that you don’t be judgemental while doing so. In this, you should practice a few conversation scripts that will help you drive home the point that social distancing is necessary for you. And that it positively affects the greater public’s safety and health. Be assertive in observing social distancing norms will work to save lives by preventing the deadly COVID-19 disease from spreading.

Wearing Masks

Suppose you are keen on reducing the chances of contracting and spreading the deadly COVID-19 infection. In that case, there is nothing quite as useful as wearing masks. Masks are particularly effective in preventing the spread of the virus close and work best when all people adhere to norms and wear them. Always ask other people to wear masks in this post-COVID-19 world as we set to resume our everyday workplace routines. You need to observe the following steps to derive maximum benefit from wearing masks:

  • Make sure that the mask covers both the nose as well as the mouth
  • Making sure that fit is tight without being uncomfortable and that the face and the mask fabric is without any gaps
  • Using a cloth mask above surgical ones will work to give it a longer life
  • Touching the mask only when your hands are appropriately sanitized
  • Wearing the mask cover throughout the working hours and taking it off and on makes it more prone to contamination

Implementing Workplace Policies That Promote Safe Offices

Ideally, your employer’s safe office policies should facilitate observing COVID-19 safety measures like social distancing and wearing masks. They need to make you feel more comfortable while asserting that colleagues follow these safety measures. Employers can and should approach their HR or supervisors if they want the following OSHA recommendations to be implemented:

  • Employees should avoid office if they are ill or sick
  • It is crucial to isolate ill employees and not let them remain in common areas
  • The company should offer work from home options or flexible working hours
  • Partition workplaces to create additional barriers
  • Use tape or other marking methods to state the safe six-foot social distance

Awareness About Their Rights Among Workers And Employees

Workers have a legal right to ensure that they are protected in the workplace from COVID-19. People with special needs like those with disabilities are well within their rights to ask for special considerations like work from home. Experts recommend that the latter be mainly observed for persons with a high risk of contracting the virus. There are many such legal stipulations like The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. It lets the vast majority of workers more paid medical leave to care for their sick family members. There are additional rights as well, as per the employment and disability status of the employee. If you find that employer behavior is putting your health at risk, consulting a lawyer is an option, too. Lawyers will help workers to be more aware of their rights and the available options for enforcing the same. Keep in mind that seeking a lawyer’s help does not necessarily mean you will sue your employers or do something drastic.

Request For Flexible Work Hours

One attractive option open to people as they are set to resume their workplace is exploring work from home opportunities. If you can use this option even for a few days in a week, it cuts down on the chances of contracting or spreading the virus significantly. If that is not an option, a worker should try to get an alternative schedule with flexible working hours. For instance, they might ask for:

  • Rescheduling shifts to late evenings or early mornings
  • Weekend work
  • A staggered shift will ensure a minimum number of people being present at the office during the duration of the shift

It is only normal that you are looking forward to getting back to work. It should work like a charm to boost your mental health and break away from the monotony created by the quarantine. But considering that the COVID-19 threat is far from over, the prospect of resuming work comes with additional anxiety caused by the disease’s probable contraction.

After a year of the outbreak of coronavirus, social distancing is one of the most effective weapons in our arsenal to control the spread of the infection. Perhaps you are not afraid of the virus personally. Still, you should also consider the threat it poses to other people. It is hoped that the steps mentioned in this article would have helped you; here’s to a healthy you!

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