Returning to the Office? Get Tips on Navigating Work Safely
Zoom meetings and virtual work could be coming to an end for some.
With more people getting vaccinated, companies around the country are considering ways to reopen safely and begin to bring employees back into the office.
If you are anxious about returning to work, Dr. Nishant Anand, chief medical officer at BayCare, provides tips on how to navigate work safely.
Wear a Mask
It’s important to continue practicing safety measures even after receiving the COVID vaccine. While some people are getting vaccinated, they can still carry the virus and infect others who aren’t vaccinated. That’s why, you should wear a mask when you’re not sitting at your desk in your office or cubicle. Also, wear a mask in areas when social distancing is hard to maintain. This will help reduce spread of the virus in the office.
Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from those outside your household. Social distancing is especially important for people who are at increased risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with certain medical conditions. Whether you’re in a conference room, hallway or cafeteria, always maintain a six-foot distance.
Some small team meetings may be low risk, if all attendees are fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidance suggests that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks or physical distancing. But workplaces, particularly those open to the public, may not always know if everyone is vaccinated.
Wash Your Hands
Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and try not to touch your nose and mouth. The more frequently you wash your hands, the less likely the virus or other contagions will be able to infect you or others. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
Stay Home When Sick
If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for the virus, stay home. If you have a sick family member or recently had close contact with someone with COVID-19, notify your supervisor and follow proper safety precautions.
Cover Cough and Sneeze
Always cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze by using a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw the used tissue in the trash and immediately wash hands with soap and water.
When you return back to the office, be sure to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and objects in your workspace. Make sure you clean keyboards, telephones, handrails, doorknobs, desks and other frequently touched areas.
It’s also important to avoid sharing phones, pens, notepads, desks, laptops, equipment, offices and other tools. If you have to use someone else’s office or cubicle, always clean and disinfect before and after use.
Avoid Close Gatherings
Avoid congregation with coworkers in common areas such as cafeterias, hallways, conference rooms and small, enclosed spaces. If you have to attend a group meeting in an enclosed space, be sure to wear a mask and remain at least a six-foot distance.
For more information on COVID-19, visit BayCare.org/Coronavirus.