The thought of getting back to ‘normal’ life after a year of ‘on and off again’ lockdown is a really exciting prospect for most of us. But for some, the harsh reality of having to go back into public facing roles, or back to work in busy offices in close contact with colleagues, can be quite daunting.
Especially after so long spent in the safety and comfort of our own homes, where we’re able to socially distance as we please and be in full control of who we come into contact with and how often.
Whilst the COVID 19 vaccine is being widely distributed at an incredible rate throughout the UK, retail and hospitality are set to open up again in April, meaning that a fair amount of the population – those who have no underlying health conditions and are under 35 – may be going back into busy work environments unvaccinated.
Which is why, if you’re a business owner, it’s important to consider what you can be doing to put your employees at ease and make them feel happier and more confident about coming back into work.
There are a few simple, affordable items of PPE which you can provide for them that could make all the difference to how they feel about their return to work. Afterall, happier employees are more productive! So what PPE should you plan to stock up on? Let’s go through some of the most important items to consider.
1. Face Masks
Whilst after living in a pandemic for over a year nearly, most of your staff probably own their own face masks already, it’s never a bad idea to provide disposable face masks in the workplace. These are handy whether your employees are working in an office space or in a public facing role. For office based businesses, you could even consider putting together your own policy dictating whether staff need to wear them when walking through communal office areas.
When used in the correct way, disposable gloves can be brilliant at preventing cross-contamination in any setting. But if you’re going to provide them for your employees, then you must ensure they’re used in the right way – otherwise they can be ineffective. The general idea is to ensure they’re one use only, then removed and disposed of. It’s good practice to provide disposable gloves for any staff working in public facing roles, where they’ll be serving or providing something to customers. This could include serving cocktails, coffees and of course food. But in an office environment you could also provide them for wear in communal spaces, such as a shared kitchen.
3. Hand Sanitiser
Encouraging your employees to clean your hands regularly and thoroughly is incredibly important. By offering plenty of hand sanitising stations dotted throughout the workplace, you’ll find employees will stop as they’re walking by to sanitise their hand. This is a quick and easy trick to increase cleanliness and prevent the spread of germs in the workplace.
4. Disposable Aprons
If your employees are particularly concerned about cross contamination of germs, then a disposable plastic apron is a great option to provide a further level of protection. An incredibly affordable piece of PPE, they can be worn over uniforms or clothing and are a great idea for hospitality or close contact businesses, such as hairdressing, beauticians, etc.
Taking these small steps to provide additional PPE can really make a huge difference for your employees, so before your business opens up, why not spend a bit of time thinking about what you can do to create a more COVID friendly work environment? Consider putting into practice some simple safety measures, such as one-way systems, mandatory mask wearing in communal spaces and regular hand sanitising.