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Covid 19 Government Regulations For Office Employees

Many of your staff may still be working from home but there may be others who find that impossible and need to be office-based. And, anyway, now that restrictions have been lifted to an extent, you may be considering bringing a fair number of your staff back under the one roof – whether on a part or full-time basis.

Government Regulations for Office Employees

Whatever, your situation the government has produced guidelines on how to make this safer for you, your staff and visitors in light of Covid-19. That’s because, employers, they say have “a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures.”

Here are their main suggestions (in order of importance):

  • Send employees home who don’t feel well and likewise ban visitors who are ill or displaying symptoms from coming to the office. Those who are vulnerable to Covid-19 symptoms should be given special dispensation when it comes to office work.
  • Make sure there are sufficient handwashing facilities on the premises, along with available sanitising products. Clean desks and other surfaces where people sit or use regularly.
  • Where possible, ask staff to work from home as a first option. If this can’t be done then ensure social distancing is in place ie two metres between individuals. In situations where two metres is impossible then one metre will suffice (providing you have checked there are no risk factors).
  • If social distancing measures cannot be adhered to then you should consider whether the task in hand is really necessary for the business or whether you can delay it until it is safer to do so.

Reducing physical contact for employees

Other actions employers can take to safeguard the health and safety of employees in the office include cutting short the time your employees spend with each other, or a client.

This could also mean reducing the number of individuals an employee is in contact with during working hours. Employers can achieve this by putting a ban on physical meetings altogether, for instance, or at least having ‘online only’ team meetings where staff dial in using software such as Zoom or Teams etc.

You could also stagger working times so that although a total number of staff are in the office, it is not all at the one time. Perhaps employees who have a ‘lark’ body clock could come in earlier at 8am and leave at 5pm and those with more of an ‘owl’ outlook could work later into the evening.

In-office working could be changed too so that instead of working opposite each other ie face-to-face, desks are moved so that employees are back to back. Or they can even work side to side, provided distancing measures are in place.

Essentially, the government states that no employee should be forced to work in an environment which is ‘unsafe.’

Furniture to safeguard employees

Screens. In addition to social distancing measures there are other ways of attempting to keep office employees safe from Covid-19. This includes erecting screens. You have no doubt seen these in shops and other retail establishments at pay points. These can also be erected in offices – particularly large layouts with many desks.

Desks. For some time now there have been calls for larger desks. The coronavirus pandemic has brought this even further. A large desk obviously increases distancing between individuals far more than a small cubicle-style version.

Bike racks. Commuting via public transport can prove particularly risky, due to the difficulty of social distancing. Not to mention the sheer number of people it’s possible to come in contact with. For this reason, the government is asking employers to consider fitting bike racks to encourage staff to cycle to work.

Signage. It’s not strictly furniture, but it is a new physical addition to the office. And it does have an effect on the physical movement of employees. Signage (link to page) shouldn’t just be for entry and exit areas to ensure staff stay distanced. It’s also for directional purposes ie to avoid staff coming into contact when moving around the office.

Meanwhile, large employers are obliged to carry out a risk assessment (link to page). But this doesn’t mean they can then rest on their laurels. The measures they have taken must then be reviewed on an ongoing and regular basis.

Get in touch!

At Metric Office Furniture and Interiors we have been producing design and space solutions for offices for more than 50 years now.

In light of the need for office staff to maintain social distance during the Covid-19 scare, we are manufacturing a range of signage for employers to choose from. You can see this on our special ‘graphics’ page on our website www.metric-office.co.uk. To get in touch call us on 01784 456 850. You can also drop us an email via info@metric-office.co.uk

Covid 19 Government Regulations For Office Employees

Many of your staff may still be working from home but there may be others who find that impossible and need to be office-based. And, anyway, now that restrictions have been lifted to an extent, you may be considering bringing a fair number of your staff back under the one roof – whether on a part or full-time basis.

Do You Need A Covid 19 WorkPlace Risk Assessment?

So, how do you as a UK employer who is understandably keen to get back to maximum working capacity, set about ensuring staff and visitors to your office are safe? For your own sake, and those of your employers, you will obviously want to do this, of course.

Office Design Post-Covid

So, how do you as a UK employer who is understandably keen to get back to maximum working capacity, set about ensuring staff and visitors to your office are safe? For your own sake, and those of your employers, you will obviously want to do this, of course.

Signage Required For Your WorkPlace Covid 19 Plan

Signage is essential in order to keep employees safe if, and when, they return to office working post-lockdown.

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