The Restore group have introduced a range of social distancing services to help businesses return to work safely in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
There is no denying that the pandemic has changed the face of the workplace and the way in which we work. It looks like social distancing in the workplace is here to stay.
As more businesses are re-opening their doors to their workers, employers are having to adapt their workplaces to new Covid-19 safety standards to help protect both employees, visitors and customers and reduce the risk of spreading the virus unintentionally.
To assist business owners with their Covid-19 safety planning, Restore now offers a range of products and services to help business owners safely manage the reopening of their workplace and ensure that staff are welcomed back into a safer workplace.
How Restore Social Distancing Products and Services can help
The current guidelines for social distancing at work is to stay at least 6 feet apart from your co-workers, workplace visitors or customers at all times.
To ensure this 6 feet distance rule in the workplace, you can introduce necessary interventions, such as reducing the number of staff present in the workplace at any one time. Staggered attendance allows more people to work in the office if they do so at different times.
This can mean introducing staff rotas where workers are divided into working teams based on their skill sets and ensuring they only work with their designated team and never letting different teams mix together or overlap with each other.
This can also mean limiting the number of people present in meetings and introducing virtual meetings over Zoom or Skype etc. to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Physical and visual interventions can also help staff to maintain their social distancing and Restore now offer a range of aids to help you manage your Covid-19 responsibilities in the workplace.
Our COVID-safe products and services include:
Automatic wall-mounted thermometer
We can supply and install wall-mounted non-contact infrared forehead temperature thermometers at key entry points where your staff can scan their temperature before entering a workplace.
This can give your staff member an instant temperature reading and you will be alerted with an alarm should an employee be running a high temperature.
Desk Dividers and Partitions
Workstations and desks are areas where workers routinely or regularly work. You can organise your desks to allow you to meet social distancing rules and keep them separated with our desk dividers or workstation partitions.
Freestanding and Hinged Walling
Our freestanding and hinged walling will help to divide up larger workplaces and prevent people from wandering around or accidentally crossing paths with co-workers. You can use our walling to help keep workstations separated and allow people to work 6 feet apart from each other.
Clear retail screens can safely protect and screen your retail staff while serving customers and will allow for full visibility.
Internal Queuing Systems
Our internal queuing system is designed to safely distance your staff or customers through the use of floor tape or adhesive floor signage to mark out safely distanced queuing spots and one-way systems to control the flow and direction of movement around your workplace or retail space.
Our tailored signage can be used as highly visual instructions and reminders for your staff to safely follow your company protocol regarding safety in the workplace. Signage can be used to instruct and remind staff to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser stations when entering or exiting workspaces, visiting the bathroom, using the kitchen etc.
Site surveys and bespoke installation
Restore will work with you to devise a strategy for reorganising and altering your workplace to help reduce the risk of spreading infection.
We will survey your workplace and work out a step-by-step plan that is perfectly tailored to suit your needs. This will include workspace modifications to be implemented with other prevention protocols to make your existing workspaces safe again.
Things to consider when making your workplace safe
It is important to space people out at work, but how you manage to maintain social distancing in the workplace and provide your staff with adequate light, ventilation and sanitation do take a lot of careful planning and preparation.
You need to plan out and modify your workspaces before your staff return to work. Working with an empty office or workspace while making modifications is easier than trying to work around staff returning to work at the same time.
Your staff will also need to be kept updated about your plans and be provided with a new set of clear rules to follow about safe distancing, hand sanitation, workstation cleaning, one-way staff movement systems, PPE supplies, and instructions to follow regarding the shared use of workplace tools such as shared printers, photocopiers, telephones, machinery, kitchen space and equipment and toilet facilities etc.
Consider the challenges that your workplace presents and work with your Restore Workplace Safety Consultant to come up with a workable solution.
You may be faced with issues such as your corridors only being 6 feet wide, which means you will risk staff coming into close contact when passing each other in a corridor.
Depending on your workplace layout it may be safer to introduce a one-way system where corridors are only used by staff walking in one direction with clear signage put in place indicating the traffic direction.
Some of the measures that help maintain social distancing include:
· Having staff working side-by-side rather than face-to-face
· Limiting the movement of staff around your building
· Providing signage to remind people to wash hands etc.
· Using floor tape to mark walkways
· Use lifts carrying one person at a time
Use a one-way system in high-traffic areas like corridors and walkways and allow essential trips only within buildings or between work areas.
You will also need to avoid using shared workstations, so hot desking practices must be ceased for the time being and you may need to re-think this practice altogether if you want to keep your workplace safe from Covid-19.
In some workplaces where workstations must be shared, plan to keep the same workers using them. You will need to schedule more regular cleaning regimes for shared workspaces where separation isn't possible. It would be safer to introduce a ten-minute gap between shifts where the shared workspace can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the next worker occupies the space.
Reimagining your workplace
When you work with our Restore team of workplace safety engineers we will help you develop a workspace modification plan that will consider many work-related risks already in the workplace and devise a solution to remedy them and remove as much human error from the challenge of social distancing as possible.
We will consider existing workplace risks such as:
· The most crowded workplace areas
· Where queues tend to form
· Entry and exit points
· Toilets and communal areas
· Shared lifts and staircases
We will also note any unused or poorly utilised spaces that could be repurposed to allow people to spread out to assist you with complying with current social distancing rules.
Our team will look at how your staff move around your workplace and work out how we can help to reduce movement by restricting access to certain areas and ways to discourage non-essential movement within your building.
Making good use of telephones, radios or other electronic devices to help maintain awareness of where your staff are located and avoid overcrowding areas or crossing paths with co-workers will also be considered in your plan.
From now on social distancing should form a major part of your companies risk assessment and is one of the most important steps needed to make your workplace COVID-secure.
Reassuring staff with new workplace safety measures
With the pandemic bringing an end to our old office lives as we know it, business owners are now having to usher in a new age of self-awareness in the workplace. For a lot of employees, the thought of returning to the workplace can be stressful, especially if they are worried that their boss hasn't taken enough steps to properly protect their health while at work.
By keeping your staff in the loop and offering them sound reassurance about their return to work you will be helping to boost their self-confidence and make them feel better about going back to work.
You can demonstrate your concern and care for your staff by introducing a new age of social distancing at work, sanitation savviness and improved health awareness in the workplace.
By taking the necessary steps needed to make your workplace COVID-safe, you can remove common concerns such as staff being worried about bumping into each other while using the office kitchen or restrooms.
Implementing social distancing control measures
With many workers being nervous about returning to their workplace it is important that you not only make the physical changes necessary to make your workplace safe, but you also need to keep your staff updated and informed about how much their workplace has been changed as they prepare to return to work.
Your staff need to understand what changes have been made and why these changes have been introduced. Your staff need to be given advice and clear instructions about how to maximise their safety on their return to help reduce the risk of contamination.
Many staff will be confused and anxious about their return and may want to revert to old habits and working patterns that seem familiar and comforting for them. They need to fully understand why you have implemented a one-way movement flow around your workplace and that they are not free to wander around as they did before.
There may be many concerns and specific issues being raised by staff that you may have to deal with as you re-introduce them back to the workplace. Be prepared to answer questions and offer reassurance that the measures you have taken have been done for their own protection.
It will help to reassure your staff and allow them to comply with your new safety measures if you can supply them with a comprehensive guide to read and follow as they begin to prepare for their return to work.
Your staff guide can include information to cover aspects such as:
· Cleaning schedules/regimes
· Disabled access to lifts and fire safety guidance
· Fire safety and COVID-19 guidance
· Improved hygiene measures for staff
· Internal and external communications
· New systems for the delivery of goods or services
· Physical distancing measures in place
· PPE for the workforce (if applicable)
· Risk Assessment reports
By working with Restore you will receive solid, practical advice about getting your workplace back up and running. But our property and workplace experts don't just provide advice, we will be there to support you the whole time while you implement your new way of working.
Get the help and support you need from Restore
Once you have safely re-introduced your staff back into your premises, we can continue to assist you with our other services that are available under the Restore group of companies.
With a much-reduced capacity workplace, we can continue to help you free up much-needed office floor space that may be taken up with bulky filing cabinets. You could free up a lot more floor space that can be better used right now to accommodate extra workspace while social distancing is needed in the workplace.
By using our Restore Records Storage services you can safely expand your workspace to accommodate extra staff while reducing your workplace fire risks. You can also take advantage of our secure Datashred services to securely destroy and dispose of any old redundant files you have cluttering up your workplace.
Introducing social distancing measures at work will allow you to continue to use your workplace in a safe manner that reassures your staff and will effectively work to limit the spread of COVID-19. It is hoped that as businesses and offices continue to reopen using necessary social distancing measures that it will help stem the surge in coronavirus cases and the UK economy can continue to recover.
Do not hesitate to contact our team at Restore for your COVID-secure social distancing workplace needs. Our team is here to help!