Health Articles

How to Reopen Work Spaces Safely

By July 7, 2020 No Comments

As provinces and territories reopen with their own guidelines, organizations are left with the incredible task of safeguarding the mental and physical health of their employees, clients, and members.

So how do you know what, when, and how to do it?

Be Prepared

There is nothing like having a plan to make a transition smoother. Having a plan will minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

But what are you supposed to include in such a plan?

Reopen Your Business in Stages

  • Try to reopen through stages to ensure implementation of new measures. This will allow your employees, clients, and members to adapt to their new normal outside of their home. Be highly vigilant for high-risk people under your care and put mental health support in place. Some might suffer from anxiety or stress, and that is normal.

Set Clear Markers for Physical Distancing

  • Put in place physical distancing measures. Whether that is by allowing them to work from home, reorganizing the workplace environment or creating teams that will enter at different times, there are multiple ways for you to keep your team members safe through purposeful physical distancing measures. The same two-metre rule applies, and in case this is not possible, make sure to provide and wear masks!

Implement Extra Sanitation Measures

  • Hygiene measures also apply. Make sure everyone has access to hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer and paper towels they can dispose of safely. Have visual support, such as posters, to remind them to wash their hands as much as possible! Common areas and shared spaces will also need to be disinfected as much as possible as they are being touched by a lot of people.

Manage Risk Considerately

  • Be flexible. As we reopen, the risk of another COVID-19 outbreak increases. You might have an individual telling you they have symptoms or have a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Keep in mind that they will have to stay home for a 14-day period.

Every organization is unique and so your reopening plan will be too! As a lot of unknowns remain about the virus, each government will adapt their measures accordingly. Make sure to stay up-to-date!

Know that there is no going back to normal and that we all need to adjust to our new reality! You are not alone; we are here to help you!

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 prevention, please read our article “Safe or Unsafe: A practical guide to reopening” or “Being patient in a challenging time”, written by our chief medical officer and practicing ER physician.