Workplace Health: How to be Effective at Social Distancing
Mar 25, 2020

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, many businesses are moving to a remote basis and telling their employees to work from home. This is a great way to avoid the spread of the virus and keep outbreak numbers manageable for our healthcare system. But sometimes that just isn’t possible for your business.

If your office has to keep running during the coronavirus outbreak, knowing how to maintain workplace health is crucial. Social distancing can be a great way to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy.

Read on to learn how to manage social distancing at the office during coronavirus.


Avoid Shaking Hands

One of the biggest steps to social distancing in the workplace is to stop shaking hands. In our culture, the handshake has long been a greeting and a way to size someone new up for the first time. But with a disease like coronavirus that depends on person-to-person contact to spread, the handshake needs to fall by the wayside for a while.

Instead of shaking hands, try placing your hand over your heart and nodding at a person when you greet them for the first time. You can also perform a yoga bow by placing your hands in a prayer position in the center of your chest and giving a slight bow. Or you can simply wave or nod to the person you’re greeting.


Split Work Into Shifts

If at all possible, split your work into shifts if it wasn’t already. If your business already works in shifts, consider splitting them into smaller shifts. 

When everyone is arriving at the office at one time, you’re much more likely to see increased contact. People are walking in the door at the same time, using the coffee pot at the same time, and passing each other in the hallways. Splitting your work into shifts allows you to keep your productivity levels even without creating the crush of everyone going through the same morning routines together.


Keep Sickness at Home

Most importantly, encourage any employees who feel sick to stay at home. Too often in our culture, we come into work even when we’re feeling a little under the weather because we can’t afford the sick day. But with coronavirus on the loose, we can’t afford to have sick people in the workplace.

Make sure all your employees have plenty of paid sick leave so they don’t feel like they’re wasting their paid time off by staying home. If you see someone in the office who’s sniffling, check with them about whether they have allergies or they’re feeling unwell. If they might be sick, ask them to go home and rest.


Learn How to Maintain Workplace Health

Trying to maintain workplace health through social distancing can be difficult. We’re social creatures, and some habits like the handshake are deeply engrained in our workplace culture. But putting a pause on handshakes and splitting your work into shifts can help make sure everyone stays safe and healthy during this outbreak.


Get More Information

If you’d like to discover more ways to protect yourself and your company during COVID-19, visit our Resource Center.


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