The pandemic has been a time of uncertainty for everyone – industries, companies, and individuals are all constantly reacting to new information, and trying to make the best decisions based on the ever-changing facts in front of us. As businesses open back up across many parts of the nation, it’s more important than ever to make sure we are all doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe. When it comes to the best practices for staying well as you return to work, here is a quick list to help keep yourself as healthy as possible in the coming days and weeks as we all adjust to our new normal.
Reduce use of common areas
Before the coronavirus, there were so many things we could do without additional thought. Using a microwave at work, touching an elevator button – the simplest things are now potential pathways for infection. For this reason, we have to be cautious doing what would otherwise be normal daily tasks, and reduce activity that would otherwise be typical. When it comes to being back in the office, it may not be possible to avoid common areas entirely – bathrooms are common spaces, after all. But it will be helpful to reduce contact whenever and wherever possible.
Sanitize when necessary
Constant use of sanitizer and handwashing is no fun for anyone, it makes our skin dry and cracked and it feels never-ending, but it is the quickest way to make the biggest difference. Particularly when you have to use common areas, be sure to use sanitizer immediately afterward, most especially before touching your face. It’s smart to wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with any object or surface outside of your own, and keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk is also a good idea.
Avoid touching the face
This is the most important, as mentioned above, when you’ve recently been in contact with a shared surface but have not yet washed your hands. That being said, it’s a good habit to cut down on touching your face as much as possible. Your unwashed hands coming into contact with your face – especially the eyes, nose, and mouth area – is the most common way to become infected. By avoiding touching your face entirely, you’re significantly reducing your risk.
Maintain social distancing
Even though returning to public spaces can be nerve-wracking, after months of quarantining, there’s at least a bit of relief to be back in communication with other people in person. This is great for everyone, and offers distinct mental health benefits, but be sure to continue doing it at a distance of six feet or more. This another practice that can significantly reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19.
Clean your workstation
Your keyboard and computer mouse are statistically among the germiest places in your work environment under the best of circumstances, and these are certainly not the best of circumstances. It’s important now, more than ever, to keep these surfaces regularly cleaned from whatever your hands may have transported back to them. Plus, it’s a good habit to clean them regularly in general, and should definitely be maintained even after the coronavirus is controlled.
The reality is each of these tips work in concert with one another and, used together, provide you the greatest chance of remaining healthy while back at work. By avoiding touching surfaces, you reduce the chance of the virus making contact with your skin. By washing your hands, you improve the chance of killing any virus that may have done so. By avoiding touching your face, you reduce the chance your hand could carry it to a place where it can enter your system. And, by cleaning your surfaces, you can feel more confident that you’re eliminating as much risk as possible.