Managing Office During Corona Virus Outbreak

Lockdown is neither good for the economy nor livelihood. Till medicine or vaccine is available we not only need to learn to live safely but also prepare ourselves to continue our works which have been held up since 26th March 2020. The only way to ensure safety is prevention. I am going to give an overview of ideas as to what needs to be implemented to stop the spread of the novel corona virus while we progress with our work. Similar to opening market or shopping mall or public transport, running offices with below guidelines may help to control the spread of COVID-19.

Sanitization at entrance

It is necessary now that every premise has a facility of sanitization outside near the main door. Every person coming to the office must sanitize their hands and footwear. Necessary arrangements must be done at the entrance of the office.

Social distancing at while entry and inside the office

Guidelines for the queue to follow social distancing while entry or exit and inside the office campus must be practiced strictly. Employees should be advised to follow social distancing and personal protection while traveling from office to home or vice versa.

Batches with separate timings or shifts

Office administration should avoid crowding and ensure social distancing at the time of entry and exit. Batches with different timings or different shifts could be implemented to counter the rush while entry or exit.

Cleaning and sanitization of contacted area

Places contacted by person entered from outside like door handles, washroom handles, and wash basin etc should be cleaned regularly with disinfectant.

Disposal for used PPE

Every office should keep closed disposals for dumping used PPE like masks, gloves etc. This should later be disposed as per advice and arrangements by authorities.

Mandatory Usage of face masks and PPE

A good mask or additional protection with a scarf and use of equipment to cover eyes and ears should be mandatory to protect oneself or spreading the contamination to the surroundings.

Training every member and staff in the office

Management should educate, train and monitor every employee and member for precautions, safety measures, social distancing and usage of PPE. Also, office administration should monitor these at every stage of work.

Quarantine area at office premises

Suspects with no symptoms should have arrangements to work from quarantine area for atleast 14 days. During this time prevention protocols like usage of gloves, keeping belongings separate, and lunch or toilet arrangements separate should be made available.

Hygiene and sanitization in office and work stations

Office and work stations should be sanitized and disinfected regularly.

Clinics in premises with isolation area

Every office or per building depending on the number staff working should have a clinic with an isolation area and trained medical staff.

Ambulances for office premise

Depending on the number of staff available in the office or building ambulances should be made available for every office or building.

Implementing closed cabins for individual staffs/members

To maintain social distancing and to avoid contact or transmission of contaminated air, closed transparent cabins should be made. Every member and staff should be monitored by a designated staff through CCTV. In case of any flu symptoms like sneezing or coughing person should be immediately taken by PPE covered staff to clinic inside the office premises. Testing and treatment should be initiated immediately.

Virtual Meetings and Discussions on phone

Staff should be advised to avoid direct meetings and should be encouraged by senior management for virtual meetings and discussions over phone calls.

Strict rules for transferring objects to another staff or member

Protocols to transfer objects or files in sealed poly covers should be made. Every staff or member must follow the protocol to transfer objects or files. One should sanitize their hands and wear gloves before packing the object or file to transfer to another person.

Please read “POST-LOCKDOWN STRATEGY” in the below article:

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