The transition into the “new normal” of working during the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any modern professional challenge any workers have experienced in their lifetimes, let alone their careers. There are many new recommendations that can be overwhelming to take in while ensuring you are safe as you work. Adapt to new workplace expectations and procedures with these tips:
● Socially Distance
Be intentional about keeping space from others in your workplace. Although you may be limited in how much you can realistically socially distance depending on your work duties, there are instances within your control that can reduce your risk. This includes when you are at entrances and exits, walking down hallways, and using the restroom. If possible, consider wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) if you are going to be in close quarters with your colleagues throughout the day. While the level of protection for the mask wearer is debatable, it can at least keep you from touching your mouth and nose.
● Practice Vigilant Hygiene
Your greatest protection against COVID-19 is (quite literally) in your hands: hygiene. Now is the time to be vigilant and methodical as you practice hygiene in the workplace. Slow down and focus on when you have touched a shared item, wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer before you continue your daily activities. Be aware of not touching your face - although it is a hard habit to break, it can reduce your chances of infection. And consistently disinfect your work surfaces before and after using them.
● Review Policy Changes
The pandemic has drastically changed the workplace, and organizations have had to consider factors that have never even come up before, such as business continuity plans and, of course, how to handle employee issues and concerns associated with COVID-19. Review any policy changes your employer has made to ensure you are on the same page.
● Talk to Your Boss
Communication has always been key, but as everyone adjusts to the new normal, be proactive in establishing an open dialogue. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your boss to get clarification. It is important for them to know what you are experiencing so they can adjust expectations or get answers or other solutions for you.
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