The beginning of September marks the beginning of the school term and for many people a return to the office after several months of working from home. This transition to the ‘new normal’ is placing a strain on businesses across the globe as they seek to balance health and safety requirements with the everyday realities of their specific industry in addition to ensuring that their staff feel comfortable, protected and motivated. That means putting in place the right measures and having the right equipment so that staff feel that they can get on with their job while having peace of mind that their health and wellbeing is a top priority.
The prospect of preparing your office, factory or shop to reopen for business as usual can be overwhelming. Each business is different but there are established protocols and recommended practices that you can follow to create a coherent plan that you should share with your staff and customers. Some of these measures include designated entry and exit points, temperature screening on entry, availability of hand sanitizer and other products on entry, staggered working shifts to reduce the number of people in the office at one time or staggered arrival and departure times, installation of plexiglass shields where required, reconfiguration of the workspace and communal areas to enable social distancing areas various others.
Whatever measures you choose to put in place, have a coherent plan that is clearly indicated through signage or floor markings to make sure that it is easy to follow for your staff and for visitors.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment has become an essential part of our everyday lives and is arguably the most important part of ensuring the safety of your staff due to its direct impact on limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Face masks have been the subject of much debate in terms of their effectiveness, the type of mask that should be required and who should be responsible for providing them. As an employer, it can be daunting to undertake the additional cost of providing PPE after so much disruption to your business, however providing masks ensures that staff feel properly cared for and boosts morale, guarantees that the masks being used adhere to proper safety standards and creates uniformity for presentation purposes which can be especially useful in retail settings.
Not all masks are created equally; you need a mask that is breathable as well as comfortable against the skin for many hours, that is proven to actually prevent the transmission of the virus and is reusable to keep down costs as well as waste. The method of attaching the mask is also important, for example elasticated ear loops can be uncomfortable after several hours and are not suitable for hijab wearers. Shinta Indah Jaya’s new generation of masks are anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial and can be washed up to 40 times in addition to being made from a unique breathable material that regulates according to the wearer’s temperature and has comfortable attachment ties.
Cleaning & Touch Points
Regular cleaning and disinfecting practices should be at the heart of your workplace plan so that your employees feel that they are working in a sanitized environment. A rigorous cleaning plan should include all workplace areas of the office, common touch points such as door handles and light switches as well as meeting rooms and communal areas such as cafeterias and break rooms. It should also include a tidy and clean desk policy by providing staff members with the necessary cleaning products to disinfect and sanitize their working area on prior to leaving in preparation for the following day or for their colleagues.
These new demands on cleanliness have served to highlight how much we have come to be reliant on touchscreen devices be it tablets, mobile phones, presentation screens or machine dashboards. These screens come into contact with multiple people and can be a major source of contamination. Limiting or banning their use is simply not possible in many workplaces due to their prevalence and convenience. The ideal solution to this is to provide protective gloves for your employees that have anti-viral properties while still allowing them to use their touchscreen devices with ease. Shinta Indah Jaya offers PPE gloves that have been specifically designed for use with touchscreens and are made using the same cutting-edge material as their face masks to prevent virus transmission while being comfortable to wear.
Providing clear communication on your workplace measures is key to showing leadership and to building the confidence of your employees in order to feel safe when returning to the workplace. Be sure to create channels for two-way communication so that your staff feel comfortable communicating on any aspects that they feel can be improved upon. Should an employee begin to experience symptoms, it is crucial there a system is in place for informing the relevant person in charge and providing a place for isolation. Clear HR policies regarding illness and support for caregivers are paramount to help employees feel secure about communicating on their situation and not feel pressured into returning to work if they believe that they have been exposed to the virus.
Getting your workplace ready for the new normal may seem difficult but with careful planning and clear communication you can turn this into an opportunity to demonstrate to your employees that you care about their health and wellbeing. Investments made now in masks, gloves and workspace organisation will pay off in terms in safeguarding against time off with illness and boosting employee morale.
Contact Shinta Indah Jaya to learn more about its range of anti-viral masks and gloves as well as other tailored solutions that can be provided to your business using its range of fabrics with customised features for developing products adapted to the ‘new normal’.