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Preparing Your Office for Illness

Preparing Your Office for Illness
The Coronavirus has been dominating the media recently. You can’t read anything, look at social media or watch anything on TV without hearing news about the virus spreading to different parts of the world. While scientists all over the world work around the clock to find a cure or a vaccination, some members of the public are becoming increasingly concerned, while others dismiss the potentially life-threatening illness as merely scaremongering or propaganda.

Either way, what could a virus like this do to your workplace? Whether its Coronavirus or something completely unrelated, widespread illness can have a huge impact on operations and productivity. Therefore, every business should have a plan for when something like this happens. How will you cope with a reduced workforce? How can you stop members of the team catching illnesses from each other? Here are some things to think about:

Hygiene

Good hygiene is one of the most important things to practice to avoid catching or spreading a virus:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water often.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
  • Use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Make sure your staff have hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes available at all times and encourage them to keep their workspace clean and tidy.

Isolation

If any member of your staff is sick, encourage them to stay at home. While their “battle on” attitude is admiral, the last thing you want is for them to infect the rest of your workforce. Make sure all illnesses are reported to HR and advise your staff to speak to a doctor or use the NHS 111 service.

Working Practices

If you are advised to send all your staff home, are they able to carry on working? Ensuring that you have all the right collaboration tools, phone systems, laptops and other equipment that your staff need to carry out their day-to-day tasks remotely means that your business doesn’t have to suffer and should be able to stay afloat in times of crisis.

Coronavirus

There is plenty of advice available regarding the Coronavirus and what to look out for. In particular, you and your staff are at risk if they have travelled to the UK from one of the following countries in the last 14 days:

If you have travelled from one of these countries you are encouraged to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people and use the 111 online Coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Advice about the Coronavirus is available on the gov.uk and NHS websites.