BACK TO THE OFFICE, NOW WHAT?

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With the existing arrangement of working from home set to become an option rather than the default, come April 5th where up to 75% of a company’s workforce can be in the workplace at any one time. The real question is: are YOU ready to return to the office?

Chances are, in the past half year, you and your family have been the only occupants of your own personal office and more likely than not, you have picked up a few habits that really would not be advisable in a shared office environment. So what should you be looking out for then? Here, we give you some tips on what you can do to prep for your first day back in the office.

1.   Practice good personal hygiene

At home, it might have been all too easy to lapse into a situation where you only have to practice the most basic of hygiene habits. In the workplace though, it’s an entirely different matter altogether. Keep your hands clean, sanitize your hands after you are done handling common documents and/or before you tuck into that piping hot bowl of fish soup.



Fig 1. EA Mask easy-to-wear disinfectant on the go

2.  Be wary of crowds

Does anyone really like elevator conversations? Now, you have a ready-made excuse to skip out on those pesky meetups at the lift lobby with people you don’t really have time for. But if you do have to share an elevator with your mortal enemy, keep an easy-to-wear disinfectant like ECOM’s EA Mask around – it might just come in handy in helping you ward off pesky germs and viruses. And maybe bad vibes too.

3.  Avoid sharing food and utensils

It might be tempting to dump what you can’t finish on the hapless intern, but is it the best idea? While wasting food is not really in anyone’s best interests, try as much as possible to avoid sharing food or utensils, as viruses can be spread through droplets like saliva. Though if you really want to crunch on that apple the pantry auntie just restocked, spray a bit of a food-grade disinfectant before you do, just for that extra little bit of reassurance.



Fig 2. Ensure fruits are safe to eat by spraying a few puffs of Bion Spray

4.  Keep face-to-face meetings to a minimum

While working at the office is now permitted, it does not mean that you should go around meeting people at public premises or at their offices! By keeping the number of places you visit to a minimum, you drastically reduce the chance of either contracting or spreading harmful germs and viruses to the people you love.

5.  Have your mask on whenever possible

Studies have shown that masks are effective in preventing the spread of viruses by creating a barrier between your mouth and nose and those around you. This makes it more difficult for the droplets that spread viruses through coughs, sneezes and talking to reach other people. In fact, while wearing a mask for prolonged periods may be rather uncomfortable, it is a precaution that should be taken as there is no way to tell if one is carrying a particular virulent strain of the flu or not.

6.  Do not go into the office if you’re unwell

This might seem like a no-brainer but how often have you found yourself showing up at the office whilst nursing just the slightest cold? The fear of a backlog of work piling up or having colleagues cover for you, as well as the ever-present concern of having performance at work linked to the number of sick days taken often results in one ignoring minor symptoms and simply showing up. Even as we head towards a post-pandemic world, we should understand that there is no way for certain of knowing that what you are spreading is merely the seasonal flu and in today’s context, prevention is most definitely better than cure.



Fig 3. Disinfect surfaces with the ECOM Virus Cleaner

7.  Sanitize common contact areas/surfaces (Virus Cleaner / EA Stand)

While the spread of the virus might feel unavoidable, the fact is that disinfecting with trustworthy cleaning products can greatly reduce or eliminate the risk of viruses on surfaces and objects in the office. Always clean with a detergent or soap and water solution before commencing disinfection as this can help in removing particles that might potentially carry unwanted viruses on surfaces, which in turn reduces the viral load before disinfection begins, thus rendering the disinfectant more effective.

 

Now, with your return to the office only days away (at time of publishing), these tips should serve as a pretty handy guide for what you can do to prepare for the inevitable. Or, you might choose to get our all-in-one Care Kits – from the absolute essentials to the heavy hitters, each package has been thoughtfully curated and prepared by our team here for complete and comprehensive coverage while on the go or at the office.

Indeed, while working from home has (admittedly) been a nice change of pace, there really is no substitute for getting work done in a specialized environment. The transition back might prove challenging initially, but hopefully it won’t be soon before long that you get back into the full swing of things, while staying healthy at the same time of course!

Author: Daryl Kuah
Designation: Writer