NSW is back to work Dec 14th – Do you have a COVID-Safe Plan?
The NSW government has repealed its public health order requiring workers to work from home if they can do so from December 14th. Most businesses will no doubt keep the work from home recommendation in place until January 2021, but within that time, they will be activating their COVID-Safe plans. Do you have a COVID-Safe cleaning plan in place, and if not, what should one look like?
First and foremost, you need to communicate your plans to your employees as soon as possible. This year has been tough on us all and if your workers have spent the bulk of the year at home, then it will take a little time to get used to the fact that they need to return to a ‘normal’ way of working. Communicate your plans clearly and make it easy for individuals to raise any concerns or issues so you can iron them all out before you all return to the office. It’s also a good idea to demonstrate to your workers that the office or work-site will be COVID-Safe with practices such as social distancing, staggered working hours and hand sanitizing stations in place.
Deep and visible cleaning
Engage a commercial cleaner who has a robust COVID-Safe plan themselves and one that can create a thorough cleaning schedule for your site. Long gone are the days where a quick wipe down with a microfibre cloth and a vacuum are enough at the end of the day. If the office or worksite has been closed, then it’s wise to book a deep clean to clean, disinfect and sanitise the whole area before having employees return. You will also need to increase your cleaning schedule. Shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms will need extra attention as will touch points such as lift buttons, taps, keyboards, door handles and phone. Your local COVID-Safe cleaner will be able to provide a new schedule for you. Having professional cleaners visible and working during the day will also make your employees feel safer too.
Flexible shifts and times
Until public transport services are back to capacity, where possible, offer flexibility to your workers shifts and working times. Encourage off-peak travel, or a mix of days in the office and at home while we all try to adjust to a new way of working.
The pandemic maybe all but a memory for some of us, however, the flare ups in Melbourne and South Australia serve as a warning that complacency when it comes to protecting ourselves from COVID-19 can be a dangerous failing.