The Philippines is likely to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccination within the next month or so, which means MGCQ will not be far behind. With quarantine measures set to ease up even more, more businesses will be allowed to re-open and call its employees – who have been working from home for almost the past year – to come back and work in their offices.
While not all Filipinos are vaccinated, the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 should be taken seriously in the workplace. Not only is it a dangerous virus to contract in the workplace (and to your employees’ separate households), but spreading the virus in the workplace can mean many of your employees being unable to work while they recover.
This means it is vital for your business operations to adapt to this new normal, as it’s likely we’re not going to return to regular operations in the near future. Here are a few ways to protect your employees in the workplace in the new normal.
Install Acrylic Guards
Not just for restaurants and shops, acrylic guards can also provide safety measures for your employees. Because most offices in Metro Manila are located in high-rise buildings with air-conditioned office spaces, practices like opening windows may not be possible for many office spaces.
On top of wearing a face mask, having acrylic guards in the workplace can help enforce social distancing measures and prevent the transmission of airborne droplets. This is particularly important in open working spaces, co-working areas, and other common areas in the office.
Prior to the pandemic, it was normal for workstations to be adjacent to each other and employees to work only a few feet apart. As offices re-open, however, it may be a while before this practice is safe. Have your office’s workstation spread at least six feet apart from each other. If moving your workstations is not feasible, do not allow your employees to work in adjacent workstations but to work one or two workstations apart, whatever is more feasible.
Continue Work From Home Models
It’s expected that once Metro Manila eases into MGCQ, many offices will require their employees to return to the offices. This means the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 not just in the workplace, but in common areas like building elevators, restaurants, and public transportation.
Just because the option to return to work from home is available does not mean you have to require everyone back. One option is to only allow those who want to return to the office that can walk or take a private vehicle to the office can return. This is so that those who do not have private vehicles or are still wary about the current situation to remain working from home. That way, your office can have a reduced number of people and can spread out work stations safely.
Provide Alcohol and Sanitizers
The World Health Organization recommends workplaces provide alcohol and hand-sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic places in the office. Make sure these are regularly refilled so your employees can keep their hands sanitized throughout the day. Also, always ensure that there is enough soap in the bathrooms so your employees can practice proper handwashing.
Protect your employees returning to the office by practicing these steps. This can help to stop the spread while protecting your employees from getting sick or spreading the virus to others.