The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a paradigm shift in the way we work, interact and communicate with each other. As the lockdowns world over get lifted and staggered workspace resumption becomes the new normal, social distancing has become overtly critical for curbing the spread and transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
Why is social distancing important?
Social distancing is a precautionary measure which has been designed to help curb the spread of COVID-19 virus by minimizing physical contact. Maintaining a distance of at least six feet has become an integral part of the new normal. Social distancing is recommended because it creates a personal-safety zone for an individual, lowering the risk of contracting the virus.Even though the world is slowly flickering back to normal, it is recommended to avoid crowded spaces and limit travelling as much as possible.
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Below are some tips for ensuring proper social distancing at work:
1. Follow the six feet rule
This is the most important rule of social distancing. Ensure that you maintain a distance of six feet (two meters) from your coworkers at all times. Avoid hugging, handshakes and sitting in close proximity to one another.
To help members easily maintain social distancing, Smartworks has de-densified common rooms, pantries, lounges and even workspaces by designing indicative distancing mark-ups and signages.
2. Re-arrange workspaces and modify the seating arrangement
Sitting and working in close proximity with your colleagues is a big no. Ensure that you come in to work only when necessary and maintain buffer seating at all times. Follow spatial distancing while having lunch, using the washrooms or even in the break rooms. Consider eating or having coffee at your desk rather than using the communal lunch area.
3. Host online meetings
It is absolutely necessary to reduce the frequency of in-person meetings as much as possible. Organize brain storming sessions, meetings and one-to-one conversations using collaborative online meeting apps for a seamless experience. Smartworks has reconfigured all our meeting rooms for social distancing. We have minimized the total number of attendees in a meeting room using our in-house smartworks app.
4. Avoid sharing stationeries and documents
Experts indicate that the COVID-19 virus can linger on surfaces for hours even days, therefore, it is a good idea to avoid sharing stationeries and documents in person. It is always recommended to use online tools and shared resources/ documents for easier communication and collaboration.
5. Avoid elevators and use the stairs
Elevators are confined spaces which are often overcrowded. Smartworks has deployed social distancing markups inside the elevators and reduced the allowed occupancy by less than 50 percent to ensure proper distancing is maintained. However, we suggest members and employees to take the stairs as much as possible as it is the safest practice to follow.
If you encounter areas in the office where you feel you’re unable to safely socially distance, please raise your concern and discuss the problem with your team and office manager. In these uncertain times, communal solidarity is of paramount importance. While most of the measures have been designed keeping in mind the safety and overall hygiene of all, it is necessary to remain vigilant and act responsibly for the collective benefit of the community at large.