Getting Back To Office: 4 Safety Measures

After almost three months of absolute lockdown, the Indian economy is slowing moving towards recovery with some organizations having restarted their operations.


The economic ecosystem that drives the city of Mumbai has long relied on the millions of commuting workers who pour into office buildings each day to meet the demands of their employers, clients, and the economy at large. After almost three months of absolute lockdown, the Indian economy is slowing moving towards recovery with some organizations having restarted their operations.

The end of the lockdown, however, does not indicate a return to the old “normal,” and reopening businesses completely in the current scenario is not a wise thing to do. The pandemic is still very much prevalent. Hence, while provisions for scanning and sanitization are being made at organizations as per the government’s directives, what are the changes that we would need to adapt to on the ‘new normal’.

Here are some safety measures organizations can take when getting back to work -

1. Regular sanitizing                                      

As a minor proportion of employees get back to the office after a two-month gap, the Health Ministry has issued guidelines for disinfecting public places including offices in areas reporting COVID-19 a preventive measure against the pandemic. Indoor areas such as office spaces, including desks should be cleaned every evening after office hours or early in the morning before the rooms are occupied along with outdoors of course. Keep sanitizers at regular intervals, on floors, canteen, and washrooms, well everywhere!

Elevators should be avoided as far as possible, as a number of people touch the floor buttons frequently. It is best to take the stairs for the time being and avoid touching or rubbing your hand against the railing. Being in an elevator with other individuals is quite risky, as you are enclosed in a tight space, and the chances of being in the presence of someone with subtle symptoms are quite likely.

2. Welcoming virtual meetings through collaborative platforms

In the last couple of months, video conferencing has quickly emerged as the core of many collaboration and communication strategies for leading brands, worldwide. We believe that this is not a temporary peak, and this trend will continue in a post-COVID-19 world as well.

We have recognized the power of virtual collaborative workplace platforms and how they can replace in-person meetings at large. Gradually, people have also understood that daily to-do’s can be discussed and addressed online, rather than one having to be physically present. Also, client meetings can be done via video calls, which will eventually save a lot of travel time for employees. Due to the ongoing pandemic, businesses are not rushing to ask their employees to get back to the office as the work from home model seems to be working quite well with positive results. Today, there are workplace collaboration and communication platforms that offer an all-in-one suite with access to email, calendar, to-do's, voice notes, video conferencing and are enabling seamless communication across teams.

3. Digital payments only, in cafeterias

Once the hub of all office interactions, buzz and pizza parties, the office cafeteria is undergoing a massive change where sharing of snacks and food would no longer be accepted. Cafes will be a lot different from the way they operated in the pre-COVID world and will be fully digitally managed. The pandemic has forced many companies to completely automate their canteens, which also means that there is no place for a team huddle or brainstorming sessions.

Some of the other practices, organizations can kickstart in the cafeterias include:

a.       Digital modes of payments like UPI, BHIM, etc.

b.      Digital apps to pre-book seats, QR codes for entry

c.       Buffet system will be complete, automatic food dispensers that fill up plates can be installed

d.      Foot pedal-powered vending machines and washbasins

4. Hello face recognition attendance

Touch screen interfaces only became a common practice in the last decade or so. Now that our awareness of ‘shared hygiene’ has increased, we will transition more quickly towards the voice and machine vision interfaces and contactless logging in and logging off. Take, for example, the fact that we used fingerprints to log in at offices, which will completely transition to facial recognition going forward. These technologies will help limit physical contact people have with surfaces and each other, thereby reducing the risk of contracting the virus.

All in all, while people are excited and worried to get back to the office, let’s not forget the preventive measures to ensure safety for ourselves and our near and dear ones.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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