With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning back to your workspace takes the right plan. Here are some essential tips to help you protect your employees.

| 3 years ago

Going Back to Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning back to your workspace takes the right plan. Here are some essential tips to help you protect your employees.

If you’ve been away from your office during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, transitioning back to your workspace brings plenty of opportunity and excitement. But it can also create uncertainty. How should your organization keep employees safe? What do you need to do differently? There are plenty of questions and challenges. 

That’s why Atrium Health launched COVID-Safe for Employers, a program that offers expert clinical guidance to help businesses reopen safely. With everything from educational materials to screening and testing for employees, the program allows your team to get back to work in a COVID-Safe environment. 

But as a first step, there are a few things every employer should know. Here are some essential tips to help you plan.

5 tips for protecting employees at work

Tip #1:

Start communicating essential workplace procedures

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace can be an intimidating task. However, you can start with just a few important steps. Encourage your employees to:

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance from coworkers whenever possible
  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Try to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Be mindful of touching high-traffic surfaces, like door handles, handrails and elevator buttons and disinfect these areas often
  • Stay home if they feel sick (except to get medical care)
  • Inform their supervisors if they or their coworkers develop symptoms at work (especially fever, cough or shortness of breath)
  • Avoid using someone else’s high-touch personal equipment such as phones, computers or tools

Tip #2:

Protect employees who may be at higher risk for severe illness

COVID-19 poses a higher risk to people over 65 and those with serious underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, chronic lung disease or diabetes. If an employee has concerns about their level of risk, consider assigning them work tasks that allow for a 6-foot distance to be maintained from others.

Tip #3:

Actively encourage good hand hygiene

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 isn’t just about cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Proper hand washing is essential. To promote this, you can:

  • Provide soap and water so employees can wash their hands frequently
  • Place hand sanitizer (that contains at least 60% alcohol) in multiple locations
  • Provide tissues and trash cans with no-touch lids
  • Discourage handshaking

Tip #4:

Get workplace social distancing right

We’re all familiar with social distancing outside the office. Here’s how you can adapt it to your workspace:

  • Give employees the option to telework when possible
  • Allow flexible work hours, such as staggered shifts
  • Maintain a 6-foot diameter boundary around each active employee work area
  • Avoid using conference rooms until social distancing guidelines are lifted

Tip #5:

Have smarter, safer meetings

Being social at work is important, but we have to be smart about it. Consider:

  • Postponing all non-essential travel
  • Canceling or postponing large, in-person gatherings
  • Videoconferencing or teleconferencing whenever possible
  • Holding in-person meetings with fewer people and in well-ventilated environments
  • Spacing chairs at least 6 feet apart
  • Encouraging participants to stay home if they’re sick


If you’re interested in learning more about how COVID-Safe for Employers can help your company get back to work, email us at COVID19RTW@AtriumHealth.org.