By Pradeep Chavda
Workplace ambience has taken on an entirely different connotation in the wake of the COVID-19 threat. Organisations desire to ensure complete safety of employees, staff, visitors and clients entering their premises. We have formulated 8-step guidelines that cover every aspect of workplace safety prioritising safety, wellbeing and productivity that can help organisations to reopen and rise with confidence.
1. Disinfection and Cleaning – The organisation must ensure disinfection and risk assessment before resuming. Post reopening, cleaning of high-touch surfaces has to be carried out intensively at frequent intervals.
2. Maintaining indoor air quality – There has to be proper ventilation and the humidity levels should be closely monitored. For spaces where air-conditioners are indispensable, the HVAC filters have to be cleaned regularly to ensure proper airflow.
3. Workplace design adjustments – Workplace infrastructure has to support social distancing and infection prevention. Seating has to be restructured and elevators and washrooms have to be reorganised and monitored carefully. With the help of IoT-based space analytics, employee and visitor analytics, real estate footprint can be optimised.
4. Implement contactless solutions – Sensor-based equipment and app-based payment should be emphasised to minimise contact. Digital wallet and video conferencing software are the right solutions.
5. Ensuring employee health and safety – Employee welcome packages that include PPEs along with details on the importance of using the products should be provided. Checking for abnormal temperature levels and keeping rooms ready for emergency isolation of suspected COVID-positive employees are necessary. Self-declaration forms for tracking medical, residential and travel history of employees have to be in place. They need to be educated about the new ways of working and the processes.
6. Food@work– Food should be fresh, contain immunity-boosting nutrients and has to be in hygienic disposable packaging with contactless delivery. Smart vending units and pre-packaged grab-n-go choices should be implemented.
7. Visitor guidelines – Visitors should be digitally scanned for contact details, travel history mapping and temperature before being allowed entry. Temperature checking equipment, proper access control scheme and tight monitoring of building capacity, queues and foot traffic routes should be implemented.
8. Having a response team in place – A response team has to be alert and ready at all times to take charge if required and mitigate the challenges. Appropriate support should be provided to employees suspected to be COVID-positive.
It is a critical phase for the leadership where they must ensure that workplaces are both productive and safe.
Organisations must also use this moment to break from traditional norms of the past and revamp old habits and systems. Ultimately, the result of this reinvention will be what great companies have always strived for a safe environment where employee well-being lies at an utmost priority that will further lead to the growth of the company.
The author is the HR Director at