Coronavirus is affecting all aspects of our lives, but maybe none more than our work lives. Some people have continued to go into work daily, some will continue to work from home, and some have already returned to the office or will be soon. What should you do to protect yourself at work in the midst of a pandemic?
Talk to your employer about changes to your office environment – If you haven’t returned to work yet (or if you have, but aren’t happy with the protections in place), talk to your employer about what precautions they are taking to protect employees. You can find starter questions in this blog post.
Brush up on your good hygiene habits – Review hand washing instructions in this blog, remember to keep from touching your face and cover your cough or sneeze. Good hygiene protects you and those around you.
Make sure you have a mask and you know how to properly wear it – Hopefully you own at least one mask at this point, but double-check that it fits properly. Masks should cover both the nose and the mouth and not gap on the sides. Always wear the mask over both nose and mouth – not below the nose or under the chin. You may want to invest in several masks so that you can wash them frequently.
Stock up on hand sanitizer – You know when and how to best wash your hands, but make sure you also have hand sanitizer to use in the event you are not able to wash hands. You may want to carry both a mini size to keep in a bag or in a pocket, in addition to a larger size to keep on your desk (and for refills of your mini!).
Prepare for how to best social distance – Several office scenarios may become challenging with social distancing. If you have a private office, think about whether you need to rearrange your furniture in order to keep 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone that enters.
Think through meeting spaces, what will necessitate in-person meetings, how to hold socially-distanced meetings, and alternatives to accomplish your goals.
Prepare to go back to working from home – Keep in mind that things may change (again). As the COVID situation evolves, it may necessitate another work-from-home/stay home order. If you have kids, schools may have to shutter temporarily or transition to online classes again.
You or a family member may become ill with COVID-19 and have to stay home and quarantine. Be prepared for the current situation to change rapidly, and try to anticipate how you will deal with it.
If you’d like to be tested for COVID-19, you can schedule an appointment here to come to your nearest Neighbors Emergency Center for a rapid COVID-19 test.