Back to work- how working mums can stay COVID-Safe
After the extended lockdowns and work-from-home stints in 2020, some businesses opened up in the New Year, and many plan to do it soon. Employers want offices buzzing once again, and employees are more than keen to get back to the usual work routines, in-person meetings, and water-cooler conversations. Even as getting back to work sounds exciting, it opens you up to the risk. You should be all the more concerned if you have kids at home as there is a possibility of carrying the virus home.
Your employer will do their bit by implementing the COVID guidelines at the workplace, but you must still take action to curb the risk. Going the extra mile makes sense because it can safeguard you and your family back home. Fortunately, only a few measures can make a significant difference in lowering your risk factors. Here are some tips that working moms can follow to stay COVID-safe even as they get back to the office.
Bolster your immunity
Strong immunity is your best defense against the coronavirus, so you must do everything you can to bolster it. Right now, your immune response matters the most, whether you work from home or step out to work. Pay attention to what you eat because you can add immunity-boosting foods to your diet to gain the extra edge. Exercise and good sleep also help you boost immunity. Also, assess your risk factor as people with chronic health issues may not have the kind of immune defense needed to ward off the virus. If you feel that your system is compromised, discuss the option of extended work-from-home with your employer.
Assess the precautions at your workplace
You should get clearance from your doctor before rejoining work because it will give you peace of mind regarding being in top shape. Once you have it, see the precautions your employer has implemented at the workplace. Do not hesitate to discuss the arrangements with your HR manager as they are answerable to you. Ask about the cleaning protocols and distancing measures they have for keeping everyone safe from the infection. Confirm the arrangements for hand hygiene and personal protective equipment. Ideally, the employer should provide them, but you can carry your supplies if you are not sure.
Try to avoid public transport
Another measure that working moms must prioritize is avoiding public transport. Commuting with others elevates the risk because you will be at a close distance from others. Consider taking a lift from your spouse or a friend who follows social distancing and face-covering rules as strictly as you do. Even if you have to use public transport, ensure that you and the others follow the rules at all times. Carry a sanitizer in your bag and clean surfaces before you touch them. Avoid touching surfaces as much as you can and sanitize your hands when you disembark.
Never take off your mask when you are out
While the vaccine rollouts are in swing, face-covering is still a recommendation that everyone must follow for the foreseeable future. If you have kids back home, you have extra responsibility for their safety. Ensure that you never take off your mask whenever you are out, whether commuting, traveling to meet a client, or working in the office. You can use a clear COVID mask that helps you with good communication at the workplace, without missing out on safety. It is vital to pick masks that offer complete protection from the virus. It would be great to have a washable and reusable option because it will not add a lot to your expense.
Practice social distancing rules
The six-foot rule can go a long way in keeping you safe from the virus, so following it at the workplace is vital. Changing floor plans is an option many employers are considering for implementing these guidelines. Your employer may have already installed glass partitions to separate the cubicles, or you can request them for the same. If a business isn’t in a position to invest in infrastructure, it is a good idea to use flexible scheduling so that there are only a limited number of people on the floor at any point.
Clean and sanitize your work area
While your employer may have implemented adequate cleaning and sanitation arrangements in the office, you can do a bit for your work area. It is a small effort, considering that it reduces the risk of getting infected and taking the virus home. Invest in cleaning supplies for your workstation and carry your hand sanitizer along. Avoid touching surfaces and sanitize your hands after you touch them. A clean workstation also exudes positive vibes, which you will need right now.
Stay away from crowded areas
When you are at work, there are chances of being in a crowd despite social distancing on the office floor. Elevators, cafeterias, and smoking zones are high-risk areas, so it is best to stay off them. Opt for stairs when possible or wait for the next elevator if there are more than five people in it. Follow the rules for masks and social distancing in the common break room, even if you want to interact with colleagues after the long break. It is also important to sanitize surfaces, no matter how tiny a microwave button or coffeepot handle seems, the risk runs high.
Seek cooperation from co-workers
Staying safe from the virus is a collective effort, particularly when you work in a shared space. Discuss your situation openly with co-workers and ask everyone to cooperate. They will be willing to cooperate because everyone probably has loved ones at home, and keeping them safe and healthy is a priority. If you still feel that some people aren’t working towards building a safe environment, discuss the concerns with the HR team. Share suggestions and recommendations with them.
Staying safe matters the most as you get back to work, more so if you have young kids at home. Your employer will probably be as much concerned about your well-being, and you should make a conscious effort to foster a safe and healthy environment at work.