Returning to work amid a global pandemic is a valid concern for most employees. Due to the dynamic situation that’s often region-specific, we’ve seen multiple opening and closing guidelines issued over the past 12 months. Every time, the thought of returning to work creates a sense of anxiety in employees.
If you’re facing another return-to-work situation, keep in mind that there are ways that may help protect yourself in the office. Regardless of how you feel about the pandemic, it’s normal to be fearful if someone in the office is coughing and sneezing.
A Gallup poll from last year found that almost half of all employees are concerned about returning to the office. Vaccine rollouts will take some time to complete, so you’ll need to consider doing items that may help protect yourself in the meantime.
5 Things You Can Do to Return to a Shared Office Space Safely
Employees and the company’s management must work together to ensure everyone’s safety in a shared office space. If staff are hot-desking regularly, you’ll need to clean the workstation between visits with the right sanitization materials. Providing hand sanitizers and cleaning communal spaces, door handles, printers, and any other shared equipment are all protocols to consider for returning to the office. Always follow all the guidelines as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Employees can also protect themselves while at the office. Here are five things to remember if you’re returning to a shared office space. Taking these precautions may help alleviate some of your anxiety.
1. Invest in a UVC Sanitization Solution
Since 2009, UVC systems received renewed interest, and technologies based on this technique are extremely effective in killing micro-organism that may live on surfaces.
Kensington’s UVStand™ Monitor Stand received a Consumer Technology Association (CTA) innovation award at last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With a fully contained UVC LED compartment big enough for all your devices, you can use the monitor stand right at your desk.
To keep all your computer equipment clean and sanitary, use the UVStand Monitor Stand with UVC Sanitization Compartment.
2. Maintain All Recommended Cleaning Protocols
COVID fatigue is a real concern. No matter how difficult it may seem, you need to continue practicing all the guidelines by developing coping skills. If the company has recommended protocols in place that aim to help keep you and your coworkers safe, follow them rigorously.
Continue to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and always use the sanitizer provided, especially after touching a surface or a door handle. Carry your own sanitizer with you wherever you go in the office to avoid taking any unnecessary risk.
3. Keep Your Distance and Wear Your Mask
All the basics still apply, even if countries are rolling out their vaccine distribution plans. Keeping the recommended distance between you and other employees will protect you and them. Wearing a facemask is no longer up for debate.
Masks helps prevent the spread of the virus and bacteria from you to others. For cloth masks, always take them off properly and remember to wash them when you get home from work.
4. Take Advantage of a Flexible Schedule – If Possible
One way companies can help reduce the risk is by moving to a more flexible schedule and letting staff come to work in shifts.
A flex job policy will reduce the number of people in the office at a particular time, allowing you to remain socially distant while at work.
Another way to protect employees is by allowing those who can to continue working from home. Ask your company if it would be okay if you only came to the office when your presence is absolutely required.
5. Coordinate Your Office Visits with Other Employees
Finally, if you can wangle a flexible schedule from your company, try to coordinate your time in the office with your coworkers. Arranging what times everyone needs to be at work during the day and staggering shifts around these requirements will ensure you minimize the risk of potential exposure.
Offices that depend on hot-desking and hoteling should make it a priority to coordinate work schedules for all employees using a shared desk. It may be prudent to carry your own sanitizing materials with you if you’ll be using a shared workspace that someone else just vacated.
Keeping Your Devices Cleaner with Kensington’s UVStand
Our UVStand Monitor Stand is an easy way to protect your devices in the office. Mobile phones, keyboards, mice, and anything else you touch regularly or carry with you will need regular UVC sanitization.
The fully enclosed, UVC compartment can accommodate most full-sized keyboards and all your other equipment, including your wallet and keys.
Some of the primary features you get with the UVStand are:
- A spacious sanitization compartment (20” x 11” x 3.5”) for all your equipment
- Doubles as a monitor stand and storage compartment to reduce clutter on your desk
- The ability to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on any exposed surface
- Support for monitors of up to 40 pounds (ideal for one 34” or two 24” monitors)
- Built to the highest safety standards (complies with IEC/EN 62471 and ANSI IESNA RP 27)
- Easy to use and safe to operate (the UVC lights turn off when the door is open)
Arm Yourself with Kensington as You Return to a Shared Office Space
Kensington remains committed to developing innovative solutions that help improve your productivity and now provides you with elevated protection against viruses and bacteria. No one who’s returning to a shared office should underestimate the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves and their coworkers.
With our UVStand, you can take your sanitization regimes to the next level. The equipment you use every day may be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. By establishing a daily UVGI and UVC sanitization regime, you can gain greater peace of mind while at work.