Just when everybody thought things are going back to normal, and soon the world will be virus-free, another Covid variant surfaced out of nowhere. First detected in South Africa, the Omicron variant has spread worldwide.
From Europe to the Middle East, Australia, America, and the entire Asia, not a single region is Covid-free. In fact, due to its high transmissibility rate, this variant is wreaking havoc. Several countries have reported record-breaking infections in recent days.
Though it’s not as deadly as Delta was, dropping your guards due to its less severity can be costly. During such unprecedented times, corporate offices are facing new challenges. Many offices in Dubai have come back to normal, employees are working from the office now.
While remote work is still recommended by experts and the government, some jobs require physical presence. To cope with a situation like this, office workers need to adhere to SOPs while management needs to introduce strict measures to curb the spread and maintain a safe working environment.
Nothing guarantees 100% safety, but introducing new workplace precautionary guidelines will allow you to continue working from the office. So, what exactly are those guidelines?
1.No Place for Unvaccinated Employees
It may sound rude to unvaccinated people but it’s a much-needed restriction for the sake of everyone’s safety. The local government too has urged the citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The vaccination is safe and strengthens the immunity against the virus – all variants!
So make it mandatory for employees to get vaccinated. No unvaccinated employee should be allowed to work in the office’s premises. Just in case someone can’t get a vaccination job due to an underlying health condition, they should work remotely for a while.
2.Ensure Social Distancing within the Office
Social distancing applies everywhere. Whether you are in the office, out with the family for dinner, or standing in a queue, maintain a 6 ft. distance. If people around you flout social distancing rules, leave them. It’s for the sake of yourself and your family – particularly the sick adults in your home.
The same applies to the workplace. Keep chairs and cubicles well apart from each other. Employees should strictly avoid physical communication; Zoom and Teams are enough to keep everything seamless and streamlined. For necessary physical meetups, each individual should have a face mask on.
3.No Combined Lunches & Teas
It’s normal for employees to have lunch and tea together during the break hours in the office. But not anymore, every individual should eat alone – preferably in his own cubicle.
Eating together entails the risk of the spread of infection. Say only one person is infected, asymptomatic, he will pass the virus on to several others and the chain would never stop!
4.Those Who Can, Should Continue WFH
There’s no way you can operate with 50% capacity in the office. If your office could accommodate 500 employees in normal circumstances, you shouldn’t call in more than 200 employees in the office.
So better let those who work from home who can work as efficiently from home as they would do in the office. This also depends on the type of role a certain employee is fulfilling; an accountant might need to visit the office, however, a software engineer can easily work from home as long as required.
If you are someone who regularly invests in office maintenance, make office disinfection a part of your maintenance drives. There are numerous office disinfection services you can avail of in Dubai. They will come over weekly and disinfect various spots in your office.
Besides that, you can ask the cleaner to disinfect the tables’ surfaces and floor daily with a disinfectant.
6.Avail Mobile Testing
There are numerous hospitals and screening centers offering mobile test for coronavirus services in Dubai. All you need to do is tell them the number of employees you have, and they will visit your workplace to take samples. This is a practice to follow monthly if you aim to keep working from the office in the months to come.
This way, just in case any of your employees is infected, he will be isolated from the rest in a timely manner.
7.Make Return to Work Test Mandatory
If you have recently decided to call employees back to the office, make the return to work test mandatory for everyone. Ideally, it’s you who should bear the charges of the test; though it would be a bonus for you if it’s covered by their health insurance.
This way, even if someone is infected and about to come back to the office, he will not spread the virus and cause havoc in the company.
Ensuring employees’ well-being and safety inside the office has never been this challenging. Employers are coming up with their own ways to prevent the spread of the virus inside the office and continue day-to-day operations in a smooth manner.
Indeed, SOPs and vaccination are the only way out of this pandemic. Ask your employees to get vaccinated and practice SOPs inside the office.