Are you, like many professional people today, actively avoiding your old commute into a city? That’s smart.
You want to avoid traveling on a train, the subway, or a bus – they’re dangerous! You want to avoid the elevators and common areas in the building where you used to work – they’re unsafe! And of course, working in an office that hasn’t been scrupulously sanitized and cleaned could imperil your health.
So like many people, you might have opted to avoid those problems by working in a shared office space near your home. You might even like it a lot. You show up. It looks clean. It smells okay. It all looks good, but here’s a troubling fact to think about . . .
Even spotless workspaces that look and smell good can still be unsafe
So, How Can You Be Sure?
We have to face the reality that until an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is developed and distributed, none of us can be 100% protected from this terrible disease. We are sorry to point that out. It’s a troubling thought, yet it contains a bit of good, actionable advice, which is that we all owe it to ourselves and our families to be as careful as we can possibly be about choosing workspaces that are set apart from our old work facilities. Protecting yourself protects your friends and your family – it’s the caring thing to do.
But the fact that a workspace is remote doesn’t necessarily mean it will completely protect you from COVID-19. So what should you be looking for, and what questions should you ask, before selecting a working space you can call home? Let’s take a closer look.
Attendance and Use Should Be Monitored and Controlled
There should be a way for the company that runs the workspace to limit and control the number of individuals who enter and start working. That’s another way of saying that an “open door” policy – “just show up, everyone’s welcome” - is not restrictive or careful enough to protect you.
The company in charge should require users to register online and provide contact information. It’s sobering to think about, but if someone who uses a facility becomes ill, it is essential for that company in charge to have a record of everyone who has used their facility.
Similarly, users should be given a reserved space or seat, and they should be required to use it.
Users Should Be Tested and Screened When Checking In
All users, including you, should have their temperatures checked before they are admitted to the premises. Plus, they must be asked the few health questions that have now become familiar to all of us, including:
How do you feel – do you have a cough or a fever?
Have you been in contact with anyone who is ill or who has contracted the coronavirus?
Have you traveled outside the country, or have you been in contact with someone who has?
If the staffers who check in arriving users do not take this process seriously, find another facility. Staffers who have a casual, off-hand attitude will not exercise enough care to keep you safe.
Masks Must Be Mandatory for All Users
This is an obvious point, of course. But it is of such importance that we want to point it out here once again.
Did you get that? People, including you, have to wear masks.
And another thing – hand sanitizers should be plentiful and located where people can access them without having to hunt around.
Distancing Rules Must Be Clearly Communicated and Strictly Enforced
These days, staying apart isn’t unfriendly - it’s a must.
Again, all users must sit only in their designated seat. To maintain social distancing, some seats and areas may be blocked off.
Signs and floor appliques should help users stay at least six feet apart from other people.
It’s Got to Feel Right Too
All staff members should project positive attitudes. After all, protecting people is an incredibly positive thing to do, not a burden.
And the atmosphere you sense in the place should be positive and happy. Overcoming a challenge and being kind, after all, are positive things to do.
Strict Cleaning Protocols Must Be Practiced
Don’t subject yourself to the risks of a place that treats cleanliness as anything less than VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS. Procedures like the following should be in place:
Tables, surfaces, and seating must be sanitized at regular scheduled intervals with CDC-approved cleaning products.
To cut the risk of recirculated indoor air, HVAC systems and filters must be cleaned regularly. If certificates and reports are not posted, ask staff members about what has been done, and when.
How Safe Is Your Work Environment?
When it comes to the safety of the place where you work – which determines your safety - don’t cut corners!
If you’re not sure your environment is as safe as it can possibly be, contact KettleSpace today. We are the industry specialists on remote workplaces and remote workplace safety, and we are here to answer all your questions . . . and help keep you safe.