The open office revolution has made working environments more dynamic and collaborative. Unfortunately, open office plans are poorly suited to maintaining the physical distancing that is critical to reducing the spread of disease.
Some office jobs must be performed on site, but many can be done remotely with the proper tools and procedures.
At Maintex, we shifted our entire sales staff to remote work. We also implemented flexible policies that allow some of our office staff to work from home a few days a week.
These changes freed up space and allowed us to spread out staff who previously worked in close quarters. It also gave some employees with health or childcare issues the ability to continue to work on a modified schedule.
Change Habits to Encourage Safe Practices
Modeling good behavior starts from the top! By reducing in-person meetings, maintaining proper distance, and wearing face coverings, managers send a powerful message to employees.
Floor markings with bright tape or custom matting are a simple way to remind employees of safe distancing. Signage or placards can be used to reinforce proper hand washing and the wearing of face coverings.
To reduce close contact in break areas or meeting rooms, remove half the chairs.
For large meetings, make sure to include a call in number so that employees can join remotely or from their offices rather than physically gathering in one place.
Maintex has not traditionally allowed remote work. At first it was hard for us to adjust to the idea that just because someone is not at their desk doesn’t mean they aren’t working! We made some “working from home” signs that helped reinforce the message.
It can be difficult to maintain safe distancing in warehouse and factory environments. Some options include rearranging work areas to reduce contact, installing plexiglass barriers, and staggering shifts and breaks.
Products and Tools to Consider
Product availability is constantly changing, so consult with your Maintex Sales Consultant to determine the best items to match your needs.
Consider using some or all of the following:
- Social distancing mats or floor markers
- Caution tape to restrict areas or reduce crowding
- Safety and policy signage appropriate to your work environment
- Plexiglass partitions for areas where distance is difficult to maintain
- Flexible working arrangements for office staff