Health is every businesses’ top priority. That is no question. During such a health crisis, guidelines have to be set and followed for safety reasons.
Today, the goal is to balance office density, prioritize health and safety for people to work with ease. So businesses are doing their best in following the guidelines the State and agencies like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set for public safety. And recently, a plan has been in place for businesses to re-open.
For this blog, we will look into the health guidelines and protocols set by the CDC, OSHA, and the State.
The latest from the San Francisco Government
As of December 2020, coworking spaces can reopen for people working for essential businesses or government operations. In short, those who cannot work at home. As for the guidelines, businesses have to follow them as placed by the State government to secure the health of the public. Here are some of the requirements according to the San Francisco government:
The following can operate, with up to 50% normal maximum capacity for unvaccinated staffs:
- Conference rooms and meetings
- Indoor break rooms
- Everyone is recommended to stay 6-feet apart in indoor break rooms.
- Everyone must wear face masks when they are around others.
- An employee should have an option to work remotely if possible.
- Offices should screen employees to check for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Offices are required to post signages and posters communicating indoor risks for all businesses doing indoor operations.
Five Actions Businesses Can Do To Ensure Public Health Safety Amidst this Health Crisis
1. Implementing physical distancing in all communal work areas
According to OSHA, the best way to protect people is to stay far enough from the person to avoid catching the virus. This means that the distance between two people has to be at least six feet.
To do this, spaces have to implement a floor design following the six-foot social distancing measure. This means placing tape marks, decals, or other visual cues to indicate where to stand.
However, this step isn’t enough to guarantee safety. There have to be other steps to take to protect the people using the space.
There has to be at least 6 feet distance between workers at the site and all of the people using the space should follow it. Here are the suggested measures to follow:
- Use technology to reduce close contact, like providing delivery options
- The workspace’s design should be in accordance with the social distancing measure. Use tape marks or other visual cues.
- Employers should check other industry-specific guidelines if there are tasks that don’t allow social distancing.
2. Installing barriers
There are certain parts of the workspace where workers cannot maintain the 6-feet social distancing because it requires face-to-face interaction. To respond to that concern, barriers are installed so that people can interact closely without contact. Also, this could be necessary to transfer items. This way, we can prevent direct transmission of the droplets hence, avoiding transmitting the virus.
Workspaces must install barriers like transparent shields or plexi glasses and flexible strip curtains to comply.
At fixed workstations where workers cannot remain at least 6 feet away from other people, transparent shields or other solid barriers (e.g., plexiglass, flexible strip curtains) should be installed to separate workers from other people.
And nope, barriers shouldn’t replace physical distancing. As much as possible, the 6-feet distance between individuals should be maintained.
3. Limiting the number of people inside the space
The lesser people inside a space, the lesser chance of the spread. Here are some of the suggestions from the CDC for compliance.
- Implement flexible work hours
- Make use of telecommunication.
- Implement flexible work sites
- Give your employees flexible meeting and travel options.
- Postpone non-essential meetings or events per the state and local regulations and guidelines on size limits for meetings.
4. Healthy air quality
The key to preventing the transmission of the virus is clean and healthy air. Both CDC and OSHA emphasized the importance of proper airflow.
They stated that a great ventilation system is crucial for a coworking space to operate correctly. That means considering building heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
It is also recommended that there is an increased circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.
5. Cleaning and disinfection
Routinary cleaning of all surfaces in the workplace like workstations, keyboards, handrails, and doorknobs must be done.
To disinfect, both CDC and OSHA recommended using EPA-registered household disinfectant against the virus that causes COVID 19. Coworking spaces are also mandated to provide disposable disinfecting wipes for the workers to wipe commonly-used surfaces.
For visitors and employees, co-working spaces need to provide access to sanitizers and alcohol for those using the area.
Health and safety should be a top priority
As measures are in place, it is essential to follow them not just for compliance but for everyone’s health. And today, businesses like coworking space will adapt and continue to follow these guidelines to ensure that health and safety are prioritized.
Dynamico Space follows the guidelines and measures set by the State and agencies so entrepreneurs and teams focus on work instead of the risk of catching COVID. To learn more about our space, schedule a virtual tour here!
Related article: Weathering the Crisis: 5 Things You Can Do While at Home