Although the trend of WFH (or WFA) is on the rise, WFO is still around for several exceptional contexts. In Indonesia, with rising cases of Covid-19, the government is currently imposing the relatively recent multi-tiered social activity restrictions (PPKM), where essential sectors (finance, ICT, export, non-quarantine hotels) are regulated to have 50% of their workers work from the office. Critical sectors (energy, health, security, logistics, basic utilities), on the other hand, even have to apply 100% WFO.
As the end of lockdown in different parts of the globe is nearing, there will also be gradual return to the office space. While WFH may remain for workers of several departments, many of us may need to get back to the normal office routine really soon. However, as the pandemic is still around, there might be concerns about the health of in-site office workers. How can WFO employees maintain their health so that they can remain productive? How can managers help them? Here are some wellness and health tips for WFO employees.
1. Physically Distance Yourself
The most effective way of maintaining office workers’ health during the pandemic is something we’ve all been too familiar with: physical distancing. We know that the jargon has been unceasingly campaigned everywhere, but it’s never overrated to keep a safe distance between workers during these uncertain moments. There might also need to be some strategic scheduling or timing to better organize the mobility of workers. Managers will also need to devise plans for more efficient meetings, where a number of people need to stay in one room together.
2. Masks On
As WFO employees interact with more people in closer proximity, organizations can keep them safe and healthy by creating strict regulations on wearing masks. WHO and CDC have confirmed that Covid-19 particles can be transmitted through ordinary activities such as talking or even breathing. Given that transmission is most rapid when a carrier shows no symptoms, it’s difficult to detect and anticipate infection among WFO employees. However, it’s easy to wear masks, which are formidable defenses to keep everyone safe.
3. Express your concerns
This point might not be as easy as it sounds, but whenever you can, express your concerns related to health regulations in your office, even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable to do so. How does the office measure the risk of infection? Has the workplace safety regulation covered covid-19 prevention measures? Is there any clear protocol in case there’s an infection? Expressing these concerns is the right thing to do although it’s difficult. There might be things that the current regulation in your office overlooks, so raising concerns can might save a lot of your colleagues.
4. Strengthen your immune system
There are so many ways to fortify our immune system. In the context of professional life, the most viable thing to do is to manage our stress level. Take some time to cool off the heat that may arise from office work. Also, regardless of the amount of workload you need to do, make sure you take some time to get yourself enough sleep, as lack of sleep might mess with your immunity. Another important aspect to build our immunity is to exercise regularly. Last but not least, vaccines do work, so get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible.
5. Promote Hygienic Culture
Greta Thunberg recently said in her recent tweet, “No one is safe until everyone is safe.” In a context of WFO during a pandemic, everybody’s safety relies on everyone’s habit at keeping things virus-free. To put it more simply, hygienic culture doesn’t have to start with regulations from the top. Simple habits such as regularly sanitizing your own desk might inspire your colleagues to do the same. Hygienic routines like this may translate into a collective effort at maintaining the health and safety of everyone who has to work in an office.
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