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Tips for Keeping Your Work Area COVID-Free When You Go Back to the Office

business reopening strategies post-COVID, companies have put in place social distancing signage and mandated masks in common areas. If you’re an employee headed back to the office after a long stretch of working at home, you might be wondering how you can keep your workspace COVID-free.

Using a Multi-layered Safety Strategy The key to mitigating risk is by laying several precautions over each other. For example, when it comes to managed security services, smart strategies include using antivirus, password protection, a network firewall, and more. By using more than just a single protective measure, companies are better able to mitigate their risk of a cyberattack. The same is true when it comes to a strategy for keeping yourself safe from coronavirus at work. You want to approach it with a layered strategy that uses several protective measures, which all have a cumulative impact to lowering your risk of contracting the virus. This type of approach, actually has a name, it’s called the “Swiss Cheese Model.” It’s been used in the healthcare and other industries for years to lower incident risk. It’s called the “Swiss Cheese” model because it explains that with one slice of Swiss cheese you have a certain risk of something going through it because of the holes. But if you layer enough slices together, you can block or nearly block all those holes (i.e. reduce risk). Here are several safety strategies you can layer together to help keep your work area safe from COVID-19.

Use a Protective Desk or Area Shield Desk shields are “all the rage” right now due to the pandemic and the fact that people are returning to classrooms and offices. You’ve most likely already seen something similar at your local grocery store checkout. Desk or area shields can be made from plexiglass and PVC piping or purchased online, and can help as one effective layer in your risk mitigation strategy.

Wear a Mask When Possible It’s not always possible to wear a mask, but wearing one when you can, is another way to mitigate some of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and can make your workspace a little safer.

Open Windows or Go Outside When You Can Air movement helps to dispel any coronavirus particles that may be hanging in the air. If you’re able to open a window in the office where you work, that can help at least a little. Being able to go outside is even better. If you can go outside for breaks or lunch, then it’s safer than staying inside during those times.

Stay 6-8 Feet From Colleagues While you can’t always control how far you are from your coworkers, do your best to stay distanced between 6-8 feet, especially if you’re working in the same vicinity for several hours. Use markers around your work area – like colored string or flags to mark a minimum of a 6’ radius around your working space to help remind coworkers to distance.

Keep Your Hands Clean Washing hands regularly has been shown to reduce respiratory infections by nearly 20%. It’s easy to touch your face without even realizing it several times a day, as well as touch multiple common surfaces in your workspace, such as a door handle or entry keypad. Washing with soap and water is sufficient to kill the coronavirus, and if you can’t get to a sink, keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you to use after you’ve touched any common surfaces.

Sanitize Your Work Area & Equipment Surfaces like a keyboard and mouse, tablet touch screen, and coffee mug handle, are touched multiple times a day. When you come in each morning, take a moment to sanitize all your work area touch surfaces to ensure they’re safe. Do not use bleach or water for electronics. You can disinfect these using a microfiber cloth and a solution of at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. For non-electronic surfaces, here is a list of EPA-approved cleaners that disinfect surfaces from COVID-19.

Get Help Moving or Setting Up Your IT Equipment If your office needs to move any of your IT equipment to ensure employees are properly distanced, make sure it’s done right! Texas I.T. Pros can help with hardware moves, setup, and with any remote working needs you may have. Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.