Covid-19 has brought considerable change to the everyday working of the office environment. The overwhelming guidance to maintain a social distance for the remainder of this time, means significant changes must be applied to shared office spaces and how we utilise our space with each other in the workplace.
Multiple organisations including the World Health Organisation and the Center of Disease Control have frequently published guidelines throughout the pandemic urging workplaces to establish proper policies to put social distancing measures in place firmly in their office environments. These guidelines aim to create a new normal across most aspects of everyday life with the guidance of keeping a social distance and practicing correct hygiene, among others.
Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has completely changed the way we shop, commute, socialise and the way we work in our office environment. This particularly presents a new and unique challenge for large organisations and workplaces where certain tools must be utilised in order to protect each facilities staff and personnel.
Here are some of the main tools needed to ensure social distancing measures are met in the workplace:
1. Capacity Management
Capacity Management functionality allows companies to effectively monitor the building capacity of employees, visitors and contractors in real-time. Set a capacity limit to ensure you stay compliant with social distancing measures. Once capacity is met, people can only enter in a 1-in-1-out system. The key benefits of a Capacity Management feature are that it sets a building capacity, ensures social distancing measures, and provides a real-time view of personnel on-site.Two separate ID scanning readers for entering and exiting will be implemented outside locations. The occupancy for each zone or location will be on display on the SIP (Safety Information Panel) as well as on the access dashboard.
Updated in real-time, when a threshold is nearly at full capacity, alerts will automatically notify relevant security personnel. When the site limit is reached, the access points for zones with full occupancy will become inactive, preventing any further personnel from entering until occupancy is reduced.
2. Altering the Office Culture & Environment According to Guidelines
There are specific changes that can be made within the office which will help in maintaining a social distance between staff and personnel. For these changes to work accordingly, it is important that each department manager and the health and safety officer of the company is effectively communicating these guidelines, regularly.
Here are some of the ways that successfully altering the office culture and environment can aid in social distancing measures being met:
- Relocating desks is the sure way to plan for employees seated near each other to maintain further distance. If it is not possible to relocate desks for staff, it is advised that a rota system be put in place within departments, so that employees can alternate days they work on-site.
- Department Managers can also set up specific working days/hours with their team to ensure there are not too many people working together from a department if there is not enough adequate space to social distance.
- It is also important that on days where teams have allocated certain employees to work on-site that these employees avoid switching days off as best as possible. This is to ensure fewer mix-ups with staff which could create a situation which is hard to control and makes the office go over-capacity.
- Managers should also organise break times for their team to ensure capacity is being met accordingly in the canteen/break room. This will again assist in social distancing at lunchtime hours.
- With many companies, there will now be a building capacity set to ensure a safe number of people are in the building, and that the number of people permitted entry can adequately keep a distance in the space provided.
- It is also advised that offices implement a one-way system throughout the office where possible to effectively monitor a safe social distance between colleagues when travelling through the office.
3. Implementing Proper Signage Throughout the Office
Signage, plexiglass dividers, floor decals, and rearranging office furniture is a great start to helping maintain a social distance where possible. When organisations are planning for their employees to return to work, implementing proper signage in terms of hygiene, direction, seating etc., is the best start to make to ensure the initial safety of all staff entering your workplace environment upon their return.
4. Utilising Head Counting for Social Distancing Measures Post-Pandemic
Normally featured within our TDS Life Safety solution for digital emergency evacuations, our head counting functionality is used to monitor employees, visitors, and contractors in real-time. Available on both the safety information panel and back-office dashboard, head counting gives a live reading of how many people are on-site, within each location or zone. To help prevent the spread of infection, TDS are now offering the stand alone feature as a means for introducing effective social distancing measures.
5. Sanitisation Station for Occupancy Control
In the world we are currently living in, it is extremely important to provide optimum sanitisation for all people entering and exiting facilities post-pandemic.
TDS' Sanitisation Station provides full protection from point of entry and is a one-stop station for arriving on-site while featuring a 'swipe in' reader for capacity management and instructions on proper sanitisation to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus again.
6. Access Control Solution for Reinforcing Zone Restrictions
When striving to create a secure and safe environment upon returning to work, implementing an Access Control solution with digital capabilities is essential.
Access Control solutions are influential in helping organisations reinforce zone restrictions and improve on-site security. Valued by numerous industries including; Government, Pharmaceutical, Aviation, Education and more, many organisations understand the importance of deploying a solution that can create restricted areas and protect the people, property and assets of each premise.
With the capabilities of reinforcing zone restrictions in your companies building, accessibility to areas of the premises is further reduced. To improve zonal security and reinforce capacity management and social distancing guidelines, this solution limits access only to personnel that are permitted at a particular time or who require it.
Return to Work Safely with TDS Safeguard
At this time of a global pandemic and social distancing, visitor management protocol and digital workplace solutions are more important now than ever. TDS want to make sure that each person is prepared to make a safe and secure return to their regular working life in the coming weeks and months.
Click the link below to book a free consultation with one of our company specialists to learn all about the actions TDS are taking and how our Visitor Management software can future-proof your facility following the Covid-19 pandemic.