Over the past weeks, many of us have created a home office for ourselves as measurements from the government were put in place for everyone to work from home. The time has arrived for many to return to work (if safe to do so). This can be a challenging time for us all. We have become so comfortable staying at home with our family, friends & pets, having an extra lie in every morning and most importantly being able to stay in our pyjamas all day! But now the time has come to return back into offices. Even though we are returning to work it does not mean that the virus has vanished, you need to ensure that you keep your offices as clean as possible to reduce the virus spreading. Here are a couple of tips to help keep the office COVID safe.

1.Wash those hands! Try and wash your hands as often as possible especially before eating and after touching door handles, kettles, light switches, landline phones. This is a key step to keep the virus away. The NHS has recommended that individuals wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.

2.Hand sanitiser! Even though it is proven that washing your hands with water and soap is effective you should still have hand sanitiser scattered around the office, if possible on every desk. Research shows that the best and most effective hand sanitiser needs to be at least 60% alcohol

3.Stagger employees ( if possible) Try and be flexible! If you have a large number of employee’s stagger shift times between them to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time. You could also allow a percentage of your employees to work remotely for one week and then in the office the next, ensuring that between shifts the equipment being used is thoroughly cleaned. Utilize the space within your office. If you can, seclude yourself and work at your own desk instead of sharing with a colleague.

4.Create a routine. Every morning before you start work clean your work area. The coronavirus can live on surfaces for 24+ hours depending on materials. By daily cleaning your desk, door handles and other common touchpoints at the start of every day it will help minimise any germs that may be sitting on different appliances.

5.Try and use the stairs! It is almost impossible to stay 2 meters apart within a lift, especially if you work in a busy building. If you can take the stairs to your office you should. This will not only be healthier for you but also safer. Those who are not able to take the stairs make sure that when you are using the lift you do not press the buttons with your bare fingers, use something else like a pen or a glove. If you see the lift is full, patiently wait for the next one.

Times have changed and this has become the new way of life, it will be difficult to adjust to but you need to ensure that your office is kept as clean as possible to reduce germs spreading. The return back to work will be uncomfortable and difficult to adjust to but staying safe and keeping clean is the no.1 approach to fighting this deadly virus. Remember; the NHS have advised that anyone who is showing symptoms should self isolate for 7 days, and if you are living with a family member or friend who is showing the symptoms then you need to self isolate for 14 days. For more NHS advice on self isolation click the link. https://bit.ly/2zg0uOa