As employees slowly make their way back to work, a business leader’s top priority is assuring their protection. Craig Gudorf, director of brand marketing in the Minneapolis office of AVI Systems, breaks down five of the top misconceptions standing in the way between business leaders and safe, healthy offices.
Myth #1: Businesses should require all employees return to the office immediately
Not without first evaluating the work environment and identifying changes that will help enhance worker safety. Floor plans may need to be retrofitted with acrylic shields, desks may need to be moved to increase spacing, and new procedures like occupancy sensors will need to be implemented in common areas and conference rooms. A phased reopening that allows for testing and adjusting is more practical.
Myth #2: When masks are worn, in-person meetings and gatherings are safe
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both agree that masks should not be substituted for social distancing measures. Instead, the CDC recommends staggering employee shifts, demarcating spaces that are six feet apart, and limiting access to hubs where people might congregate.
Myth #3: Personal devices are as secure as company devices
In typical work environments, the IT department implements and manages two-factor authentication, content filtering, identity and access management, encryption, auto backups, and security monitoring to any device used for company business. Personal devices should get the same secure treatment for as long as they will be used for business purposes.
Myth #4: Social distancing in conference rooms prevents COVID-19
Not without putting new protocols in place. For example, update these spaces with touchless technologies that can be activated from personal devices, and use booking tools to reserve only the bare minimum of space that is needed, patching in others through video for a hybrid meeting. Employees should also no longer use conference rooms as private work zones
Myth #5: Customer visits to the workplace don’t pose a threat
Not without new visitor management policies that might possibly include pre-registration to maintain occupancy levels, temperature checks, and the embrace of new data-tracking measures like thermal imaging to replace outdated shared sign-in sheets and pens.
A version of this article was originally published by Commercial Integrator.