Proactive Measures Businesses Can Take To Keep Employees Safe When They Return The Office After COVID-19

Hance Construction understands that many businesses are not set up for post COIVD-19 return to work, here are a few proactive measures to consider as part of your return to work strategy.

Business grinding to a halt. Masks on every face. Events canceled. These last few months have been anything but normal. And while some states are starting to lift restrictions, many business owners are feeling cautiously optimistic about returning to work. Needless to say, it’s going to be a while before things start feeling normal again.

Whether you’re a commercial growth facility, an office space or a tech company, you’re going to need to make some adjustments as your employees return to their workspaces.  In fact, the Boston Globe reports that one study found up to 16 percent of flu transmission takes place in the office. While we know that COVID-19 is not the same thing as the flu, this should give you an idea of just how easy it is for an infectious disease to spread in the workplace.

Aside from the increasing both your cleaning and the space between employees, there are a number of products that can slow down the spread of sickness. As a metal building contractor that cares deeply about safety, Hance Construction would like to offer you these tips to keeping your returning workforce healthy:

Wellness Guards & Consultation Booths are a couple of the physical barriers that business can put in place to protect employees when they return to the office.

Install physical barriers

Many workplaces feature open-office environments to encourage collaboration. These set-ups now pose a danger, as it can be difficult to maintain a six-foot distance between employees.

One way to mitigate this hazard is to install protective barriers or what are commonly known as sneeze guards. These clear, acrylic screens can be easily mounted between cubicles without doing damage to the existing structure and can help cut down on the amount of airborne germs in the office. They’re secure enough that they can be left in place as a permanent fixture or effortlessly removed afterwards.  Since the surfaces are easy to wipe clean and sanitize, sneeze guards make it simple to sustain a healthy environment.

Even if you put six feet of space between your employees, you will still need to account for individuals from outside your organization coming into your building. This is especially true for those who work in commercial growth facilities, many of whom saw a dramatic increase in sales and foot traffic during lockdown.

Regardless of whether those record sales continue after quarantine ends, both office spaces and commercial growth facilities still need to take measures to protect employees who come into direct contact with customers. One solution is to install consultation booths in the reception or cash register area. Companies such as Global furniture have rolled out booths as a specific response to the COVID-19 crisis. These booths include a protective screen and a document slot so money and other goods can be easily exchanged.

Whether you want to keep your employees at the front desk safe as they greet visitors and receive deliveries or make sure your workers are healthy as they distribute cannabis products to the general public, a consultation booth will give that added layer of protection.

Purify the air

The higher the occupancy in a building, the more polluted the air will be. This is why so many offices opted to have their employees work from home. But poor air quality doesn’t have to be a reality for your workers as they return to their cubicles. One solution is to install a purifier in your forced air system.

The REME HALO by RGF Environment is one product we’ve found to be especially reliable. It sends out ionized hydro-peroxides, neutralizing bacteria and viruses in the atmosphere and causing allergens to stick together. Health care facilities using the REME HALO have seen a decrease in MRSA cases, and some testing has shown it can decrease the germs released by a sneeze by up to 98 percent.

Another way to keep the air in the office clean is to use a UV germicidal air purifier. These devices create activated oxygen that kill up to 85 percent of airborne germs on first contact. Products such as the MUV-401H by PremierOne can be easily mounted over an air duct and eliminate bacteria and viruses as they exit the forced air system.

This piece office furniture features a pull over upholstery cover along with a sealed and finished seat pan for easy housekeeping and infection prevention.

Purchase easily-cleaned furniture

Some surfaces are easier to disinfect than others. Those cloth couches in the break room, for example, might add that much more time to the already over-extended cleaning crew. If it’s been a while since you replaced office furniture, now might be the time to consider an upgrade. The upfront cost might be high, but it could save money in the long-run on lost labor due to disease and additional time to disinfect.
Desk chairs are another place where hygienic solutions exist, and there’s an entire sector dedicated to designing furniture that cuts down on infectious disease transmission in health care facilities. These include desk chairs that have pull over upholstery covers and finished seat pans to make it easier to clean and prevent the spread of germs. Tech companies or other office environments that are trying to mitigate coronavirus spread may find investing in this furniture upgrade well worth the cost.

Why is this important?


While these three areas may seem like a large cost up-front, it’s a small price to pay in the end to keep your workforce productive, healthy and safe. From lower productivity to excessive absences to projects not being delivered on time, an infectious disease can wreak havoc on an office, negatively impacting your employees and your bottom line.

If you’ve worked with Hance Construction in the past, then you know the value we place on safety. Choose us for your general contractor needs as you get your office and facility back up and running in a post-quarantine world.