How you can keep yourself and your colleagues safe and healthy when you go back to work

 01 Jul 2020

For many businesses, there may not yet be a set date to head back to the workplace, but we’re all starting to think about what a return to the office will look like. But we must proceed with caution. Federal and state governments are driving home the message that we can’t afford to be complacent and risk a second wave.

We previously provided some tips on how employers can prepare for a return to the office – however, it’s all of our responsibility to keep the curve flattened as we return to work in the coming weeks and months. So, here are some things we can all do as individuals to keep ourselves and our colleagues safe and healthy:

1. Stay home if you’re not feeling well



This is perhaps the most important measure that we can take as individuals to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, we’re battling a culture where it’s almost become a badge of honour to push through the pain and illness and stay at work.

But with the outbreak of COVID-19 this simply can’t happen anymore. At Zenith, we have a policy that if you feel unwell you must stay home. It’s the best way we can contain the spread.

2. Follow expert advice on testing


We recommend that you always follow the latest advice from the New Zealand government regarding testing. If you have symptoms but are unsure if you have been exposed to COVID-19, ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or your GP for advice.

For more information on COVID-19 testing, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

3. Practice good hygiene



We’ve built a lot of good hygiene habits over the past few months since the outbreak of COVID-19 and its important that we all play our part and remain vigilant to continue to limit the spread of the virus. This holds especially true as we start to think about going back to work.

It’s important we practice good hygiene when back in the office by:
  • Coughing and sneezing into our elbow or a tissue
  • Washing and sanitising our hands regularly
  • Keeping our work spaces clean, tidy and sanitised
  • Wearing a facemask (if you personally feel it’s necessary)

4. Remember to stay hydrated



Studies have found that hydration is key to boosting immunity. To maintain adequate levels of hydration, the recommended daily water intake for adults is 3 litres, or 12 glasses. Many of us would be hard pressed to reach that target and it can be even more difficult to reach during the work day, particularly when we get busy.

The good news is we’ve got some #hydrationhacks to help you make sure you’re drinking enough water during the work day:
  • Keep a refillable bottle of water at your desk for readily available drinking water and a visual reminder to keep hydrated
  • Keep a tally of how many glasses of water you’ve had to drink each day – like how you might count your daily steps. To make it fun, Get your work besties involved – create a leaderboard and hold each other accountable.
  • Set calendar reminders for drinking water – the best way to form a habit is make it an automatic part of your daily routine, so consider scheduling calendar reminders to drink water every two hours during the work day.
While there are some obvious benefits of working from home, the prospect of going back to work to reconnect with colleagues and recapture that office buzz is exciting. Everyone has a role to play in a safe and healthy return to the workplace – so follow these steps to do your bit.