As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the United States, every area of the country is grappling with the decision to “reopen” parts of society. One area of consideration is office life. While some companies have announced prolonged work-from-home policies, (July 2021 for Google employees), others are already back to normal or are planning to resume in-office activity in the fall.
What does that mean for employees who are concerned about returning to that environment in the midst of a pandemic?
It is largely the responsibility of your employer to create and maintain a safe work environment. And if you feel uncomfortable being in the office, it’s worth talking with your boss or co-workers about continuing to work from home.
If you are set to return to the office soon, here are some ways you can find safety and peace of mind by focusing on your health and the health of your environment.
5 Tips For A Healthy Office
1. Stay Home When You Need To
The mentality of toughing it out when you aren’t feeling well needs to be rewired. If you are at all concerned that you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, the safest thing you can do is not go to work.
This is the compassionate and responsible thing to do for yourself, your co-workers, and your family.
2. Keep Your Distance
Avoid congregating in common areas, break rooms, cafeterias, etc. While it may be a hard habit to break, it’s necessary to maintain as much distance between you and your coworkers as possible to keep everyone healthy.
3. Wear A Mask
Social distancing doesn’t negate the need for masks in the same way masks don’t negate the need for social distancing. Unless you work in a private office with your own entrance, you should be wearing a mask while working in any kind of shared air space.
Keep hand sanitizer on your desk and use it often. Any time you have to touch something that someone else has used, you should be washing or sanitizing your hands.
5. Don’t Touch
Find ways to open doors, push buttons, flip switches, etc. that don’t involve using your hands. If your workplace doesn’t have automatic faucets for example, consider using a paper towel to turn the faucet on and off, limiting your direct exposure to the germs living there.
Office Air Purifier
For another safety measure, consider a portable room air purifier for your office. The included filter in this Aprilaire Air Purifier removes dust, pollen, mold spores, germs and other pollutants that are 0.3 microns and larger.
Of course, you’ll have to leave your office from time to time, so be aware of the condition of the hallways, meeting rooms, and lounge spaces. Consider bringing up the topic of air filtration at your office if there aren’t currently any measures in place to address air quality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a safety checklist for employers who are welcoming employees back to the office.
As part of Aprilaire’s Healthy Air System™, a whole-home air filtration unit can help you breathe a little easier when you come home from work, too.
This is an important piece of the multi-pronged approach that includes increased fresh air ventilation, humidity control, and air filtration to help reduce the proliferation of airborne viruses and other contaminants.
Aprilaire products are not intended to cure or treat any known airborne viruses but can help in the reduction of airborne viruses in your home and office.