Due to the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, measures will also have to be taken in the office. Many offices will remain open as usual, but services will have to be adapted to prevent dissemination. In this blog you can read the most important measures you can take against the coronavirus in the office!
What do employees expect from you?
It is important to know what employees can expect from you as an employer. As an employer you are obliged to ensure a healthy and safe workplace. It is important to keep in mind the risks associated with the work and spread of the coronavirus so that measures can be taken against this risk.
As an employer you are obliged to ensure a healthy and safe workplace.
It is good to share these measures with your employees. This way your employees know what to do and what is expected of them. To help entrepreneurs we have listed the most important rules here:
Stay at home when you feel symptoms
This is really the most important. Staying at home when you feel symptoms is a rule that everyone in the Netherlands should take seriously: if you have a cold, cough, sore throat or fever, stay home! This will prevent your staff from becoming infected and prevent the entire company from working.
Employees can work from home
The RIVM recommends working from home as much as possible in this current situation. If this is possible, give your employees the freedom to do so. Make good agreements; as an employer it is important that you ensure good communication between your employees. This can be done via mail, Google Hangouts, or a program like Slack that is made for exactly this.
Spreading work hours
Another suggestion is to spread working hours of employees, so that fewer colleagues are present in the workplace at the same time. This keeps contact to a minimum. As an employer, it is up to you to arrange this in good consultation. Participate in working groups and make a schedule for a good spread over the day. This reduces the chance of contamination.
To ensure that there is less chance of transmission of the virus in the office, you must immediately implement hygienic measures. The usual measures are already known to many, but we will list them for safety's sake.
- Employees should regularly wash their hands with soap and water.
- Sneeze and cough in the inside of your elbow.
- Use paper tissues when you cough or sneeze, and throw them away immediately!
- Do not shake hands
- Use disinfection gel to disinfect commonly used surfaces.
- Keep the office well ventilated.
- Regularly polish the door handles, taps, light switches and your own workplace such as your keyboard and mouse
- People who cough and/or sneeze can go home. This is a measure mandated by the government.
- Keep conversations as short as possible.
Let employees have some responsibility
Especially, keep your distance between colleagues.
If some of your employees work from home, some workplaces will be unoccupied. These empty workplaces come in handy because it is important to keep a distance between employees. A full office will spread the virus further, so keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between workplaces of staff.
In addition to all this, more measures can also be taken with regard to social hygiene. If you set rules for this, there is less chance of transmission of the coronavirus. Here we have listed the most important measures:
- Cancel all unnecessary appointments until the virus is under control.
- Maintain contact by phone or email. Of course, keep contact well-informed, but together in 1 room is not necessary.
- Do not take your children to the office, even if the schools are closed.
Everyone takes responsibility
Let employees also take responsibility. It is important that as much contact with the outside world as possible is currently avoided. If everyone can adhere to that, there is a chance of contamination in the workplace.
Keep an eye on the news
This is a summary of current measures surrounding the virus. The measures can change at any time. Therefore, as an employer, keep an eye on the latest news and the national government. This way you avoid unexpected surprises.
We hope that we have been able to help you enough with these measures and that you will immediately start working on making your office corona-proof. It is important that all employees use the measures at their office, so that there is less chance of transmission of the virus.