Health and safety standards in the office after COVID-19
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Health and safety standards in the office after COVID-19

27 June, 2020

It is evident that certain changes in our lifestyle have taken a 180-degree turn in less than a year. With the arrival of the health crisis caused by COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020, many companies have had to readapt and send their workers home; meanwhile, employees have had to learn how to adapt and optimise their working time at their home-offices.

COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives in economic, health, social and labor aspects. But what is clear is that many companies have managed to adapt with ease to this new normality, improving their office spaces in order to make them more stable, safe and trusted for their employees. For this reason it is important to know some of the basic hygiene and safety rules to make the work environment a safe place to perform the daily duties.

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We can not forget that we are still living with the virus and that the risk of contagion is still present. Therefore, from Viccarbe we would like to point out some of the rules in the workplace safety, as well as the hygiene measures that are necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

 

How to maintain an office security

Last march, the ILO Bureau for Employer’s Activities published the guide An employers’ guide on managing your workplace during COVID-19. This document sets out the essential hygiene and distance measures between workers to be applied before, during and after the residual return to work.

This guide covers everything from what to do before you go to the workplace, to how waste should be managed in the workplace.

In this post we are going to list the recommendations to keep our working environment safe, as well as some safety recommendations for companies:

  • Staggered access to the office. It is important to make a staggered entry to work in order to avoid crowded flows in the parking, public transport or at the entrance to the workplace. In addition, the International Labour Organization recommends facilitating teleworking as much as possible, especially if the space is not wide enough to respect the safety distance.
  • Temperature control before entry. Upon arrival, employees should be taken to their temperature and this may not exceed 99,5ºF . Another important thing to do, is measure your temperature at home and, in case of any symptoms, never go to the workplace and immediately inform both the company and the doctor or health centre concerned.
  • Use of mandatory individual protection equipment. The famous IPEs. Gradually, masks have become a mandatory item at national level, both indoors and outdoors. Therefore, it is important to carry it at all times in the workplace, meeting rooms or meetings with clients. Also, the company may include protective screens dividing workers from each other to continue to maintain the concept of an open uncluttered and sociable office security.

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  • Recommendations for proper hygiene. It is important that employees wash their hands repeatedly before entering any space, touching certain utensils or going to another room in the office. To achieve this, companies can place information signs at the entrance to common areas, meeting rooms and toilets, for example. Hydroalcoholic gel dispensers can also be placed onstaff desks and access points.
  • Cleaning of the workplace hygiene. The workspace should be ventilated several times during the day, as far as possible, and the company must provide workers with cleaning materials to disinfect their work areas on a daily basis.
  • Safety distance and flow of movement between workers. The work and tasks to be performed by employees must be scheduled so that they can always maintain an interpersonal distance of at least two meters. In order to maintain this distance, companies can incorporate new signage to warn of social distance compliance.
  • Collaborative spaces. Promoting and designing collaborative offices and spaces is becoming more and more common. Many companies and organisations have taken advantage of this to implement collaborative workspaces, so employees can feel more secure offices, comfortable and can continue to maintain their social relations at work safely . If you want to know more about collaborative spaces, in our post How to design collaborative spaces and which furniture to choose, you will find everything you need to know.

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  • Incorporating technology and the latest trends in the furniture. More and more organisations are including the latest materials in their workspaces, easy-to-clean chairs or even antibacterial surfaces which are characterised by easy disinfecting and are at the forefront of the latest technologies.

 

Maarten Plastic, the perfect office chair post COVID-19

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One of our best-sellers, that complies with all office security health and safety standards, is the Maarten Plastic chair, which is distinguished for having a wide range of bases: four-legged, wheeled, swivel o pyramidal, and being extremely easy to disinfect and maintain for busy environments.

Designed in 2012 by architect Víctor Carrasco, the Maarten Plastic chair is made of polypropylene, a very resistant and durable material that facilitates disinfection due to the continuity between the seat and the backrest, manufactured without joints. Allows for regular deep cleaning with a bleach and water solution without damaging the material, something very useful for the times we live in. A timeless and iconic piece featured by its friendly mediterranean design and for its comfort, a versatile chair suitable for meeting rooms, homes, desks, cantines and collaborative spaces.

At Viccarbe we design safe, dynamic and up-to-date furniture, always in accordance with the safety and hygiene measures that must be adopted in the workplace. If you want to know more about our products, designers and architects, checkout furniture catalogue and the materials cleaning guide that we have compiled for the occasion.

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