The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has had an unprecedented impact on how businesses operate. Negatives aside, this pandemic is an opportunity to push workspaces into the future with new health technologies.
According to Raghmah Solomon, at Vortex Design Solutions, an Interior Design company specialising in compliance of building fire, HVAC and electrical systems to obtain Occupation Certification from City Council. “In our experience we know creating a working environment in which employees are safe and free to flourish, is extremely beneficial for both a company’s culture and bottom-line.”
Here are the top 8 things you can do to safeguard your building and/or workspace:
- Educate your staff. Go the extra mile to make sure your staff members understand how the new health and safety regulations work and why they are in place. No measures you adopt are going to be effective if your staff members are not educated in-situ on how to use them or on the facts about how COVID-19 is transmitted.
- Re-evaluate your access control systems. Some buildings use finger biometrics for security reasons. These are easily replaced with card-controlled access systems which eliminate the risk posed by employees touching the same touchpad continuously.
- Automate your doors. Many doors have no closing mechanism which means staff must touch the handles. Automating doors with a door closer and a no-touch sensor button is an easy and unobtrusive step towards safety.
- Clear the clutter. Apart from having proven psychological benefits, a clean workspace will eliminate possible places for the virus to linger.
- Redesign the workspaces. Areas of top priority are worktops that are not hygiene friendly in reception areas and canteen areas, as well as sale points at retail spaces which should have sneeze guards.
- Have mobile hand sanitiser units at as many common touchpoints as possible for people to disinfect should they touch a shared space.
- Restructure open-plan layouts. The safest way to be in a shared space is to adhere to the 2m distancing as per the office quarantine solutions guidelines. Invest in mindful, sustainable technology for teams to restructure their collaborative meetings and team huddles, as well as information signage to keep all members of your company in contact and up to date.
We already know that a virus will survive on many surfaces that make up our office spaces and this means the potential risks for virus transmission in the workplace are everywhere.
Health and safety regulations will adapt to protect our labour force and it is the responsibility of every business owner to adapt with them.
It is the hope of the team behind Vortex Design Solutions, that their expertise on creating beautiful, optimal working environments, can help move South African businesses into a safer, cleaner and more productive future