While the Philippines has made considerable strides to eventually beat the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still important to stay on guard. The struggle is not yet over, and citizens have much to gain from continuing to adhere to safety protocols whether at home or at work.

Public spaces are unfortunately becoming crowded again because of relaxed quarantines and alert levels, despite the historical tendency of infection spikes happening because of such activity. And while it’s difficult to control what people do privately on their personal time, businesses can still make an effort to protect those at the workplace.

For instance, making the workplace safe vs. the spread of COVID-19 takes a significant mental burden away from workers. The fear of infection is minimized, and by extension the fear of succumbing to the effects of the virus or transmitting it to loved ones is also decreased. Preventing fear and anxiety from building up also minimizes the tendencies to panic and do something counter-productive to COVID-19 safety protocols. But how exactly do specific workplace safety measures produce this effect?

One of the most prominent ways that workplace COVID-19 safety measures make workers feel safer is through creating a safe space with enough room. Given that the coronavirus is commonly transmitted through close human contact, decluttering the workplace is a natural counter to the spread of COVID-19. The physical safety this creates also leads to a feeling of security, relieving concerns for everyone’s safety at the workplace. Here are several concrete ways that an organization can create sufficient room within their facilities to keep workers safe and put them at ease.

  • Alternative work arrangements

Employees who can perform their duties at home or at a suitable remote location will be able to minimize their contact with the outside environment, as well as with other employees. There’s little risk and maximum reward for allowing these workers to work remotely, whether on full-time basis week or at an alternating schedule. Any time they spend away from the workplace is time they’re contributing to keeping the premises uncrowded.

  • Dedicated shuttle services

Part of maintaining space between people is decongesting the transport system. Public transports have adhered to precautions, but the queues for them can still get quite long. Plus, because they’re available to everyone, it’s common for commuters from many different areas to occupy the same space. Implementing a shuttle service helps employees avoid such exposure and gives their workplaces and homes a significant level of protection.

  • Skeletal workforce implementation

Keeping only essential personnel in the workplace is one effective way to thin the crowd, putting everyone at ease due to the spaciousness this creates. Implementing a skeletal workforce involves identifying processes that cannot be brought outside of the premises using online connectivity, such as those involving sensitive employee or client information. These processes must stay in-office, while everything else can be brought home. If planning goes well, this strategy even has the bonus of helping save on utilities expenses from parts of the workplace that remain unoccupied.

  • Proper seat planning and spacing

For everyone that has to report to work, or when remote workers have to report in for any urgent reason, ensuring spaciousness in the workplace provides the buffer zone needed to limit close contact. Standard public safety protocols already provide a useful benchmark for seating distances, but it’s also still possible to increase the distance or place solid dividers. Aside from being infected at work, one of the most mentally-taxing fears is the fear of being the cause of someone else getting infected. Seat planning and spacing alleviates most of that fear.

  • Workplace ventilation

Since one of the vectors for the coronavirus is air transmission, ensuring proper ventilation for work facilities minimizes the chances of it lingering inside the premises. A ventilation strategy involves frequent monitoring and cleaning of windows, vents, air conditioning systems, and other essential air inlets and outlets. The benefits are healthy for both the body and mind, allowing essential personnel to breathe easy.

Precautions and safety measures against COVID-19 not only increase protection from infection, they grant peace of mind. As the battle against the coronavirus continues, every little bit of recovery and protection counts – whether for physical or mental health. Maximize space as one of the keys to make the workplace a safe “space” for workers’ sound body and mind.

Graphic element by tirachardz via freepik.com