Preparing your office operations for Phase 2 post lockdown?
With Phase 2 of post lockdown commencing in June, employees are slowly returning to their offices where new government policies await them:
- Minimize socializing
- Minimize need for physical touch points.
- Actively enable employees to work from home
- Companies should continue to conduct virtual meetings as much as possible. Physical meetings between employees and with suppliers / contractors must be minimised, limiting to 5 people or less and being 1M apart.
4. Where physical interaction cannot be avoided, precautions should be taken to ensure clear physical spacing of at least 1 metre between persons at all times through the following:
- Employers and employees must be discipline to adhere to safe physical distances (at least 1m apart) at the workplace premises with visual interactive map displayed on the entrance of your office or through physical visual indicators which might not be recommended as it requires effort and vandalizing of your furniture. As mentioned on Channel news asia on the 15th of June 2020 “Where not feasible or practical to apply 1m safe distancing between individuals, this 1m requirement can instead be enforced between groups, with each group made up of not more than five persons, and with no mixing between groups,” an MOH spokesperson said.
- This must also be applied to huddle spaces, where congregation or gathering of employees or visitors / clients might occur, where reasonably feasible.
Employers must adapt to the new normal ensuring that their workforce maintains social distancing in the workplace wherever possible and this will involve making critical business decisions.
3 types of immediate workplace solutions adapting to the new normal
- Introduce shift work and strategic seating– See what you can do to accommodate your employees while staying compliant with mandatory 1m social distancing. The solution will depend on your office layout but in general, two things can be done.
- Dividing up your office desks
- Limit the number of people in the office by enforcing shift work to help limit the number of people coming into the office.
This can help isolate any exposure on a given office. Also, assigning seats on essential teams in separate areas, so that if someone does get sick, it won’t impact an entire department at once.
2. Use workplace management to streamline options – Employers need to know exactly who is going to be coming into the office and who is going to be working remotely and then plan accordingly.
So, how can employers leverage workplace management to make the office safer for those coming into work? Before making any changes, you need an accurate picture of what’s happening.
The first step is to update your existing floorplan so that employees are marked as absent or in the office. Then, employers can book on behalf of employees to regulate and reseat staff so that everyone keeps the appropriate amount of space between them to adhere to social distancing recommendations: three feet (1 meters). Temporarily suspend hot desking or hoteling, and opt for employees seated in their same workspaces on a daily basis. Avoid sharing any workstations and equipment.
3. Minimize transmission of employees – Desk seating, particularly in open-plan spaces, poses one of the greatest risks of transmission. This is due to the extended period of time office workers sit in close proximity to each other.
Using PanL Desk Manager, it can be easily customized and implemented in your office to help ensure social distancing is maintained and other aspect of safe measures, employers can identify an individual’s schedule, time of occupying and extension or even end earlier than their designated duration on their seat allocations.
It is critical for employers to manage which desk can or cannot be utilized, to comply with the company policy.
This ensures adequate space is maintained between them protecting their health and adhering to company’s workplace health and safety obligations.